Music News: Jazz critic Nat Hentoff dies at 91

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Cover of 'The Nat Hentoff Reader'
Cover of 'The Nat Hentoff Reader' (Da Capo Press)

Nat Hentoff, one of the all-time most influential writers about jazz, has died at age 91. In addition to his music writing, Hentoff was also an activist and an outspoken advocate for civil liberties. Hentoff wrote and edited several books about jazz, co-founded The Jazz Review, and was a longtime writer for publications including The Village Voice and The New Yorker. In 2004, Hentoff became the first non-musician to be named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. (New York Times)

Remembering David Bowie

Sunday would have been David Bowie’s 70th birthday, and Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the musician's death. A new video for his song "No Plan" has been released; the clip was directed by Tom Hingston, who previously collaborated with Bowie on the videos for "I'd Rather Be High (Venetian Mix)" and "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)." (New York Times) "No Plan" appears on the Lazarus cast recording.

Meanwhile, Bowie's son Duncan Jones is helping to spread the word about a Welsh dog who needs a home. The dog was named Bowie because, like the musician, he has two differently-colored eyes. (Time)

Prince's estate inventoried

Prince’s estate has submitted an inventory of the late star's possessions to probate court in Carver County. "The inventory also lists about $110,000 in four bank accounts, unclaimed property, capital credits and cash, plus 67 10-ounce gold bars valued at nearly $840,000," notes the Star Tribune. "There also are plenty of items that haven't been assigned a value yet, including musical instruments, his jewelry collection, household furnishings, a 2006 Bentley and the iconic Purple Rain and Graffiti Bridge motorcycles."

Scorsese scraps Sinatra biopic plans

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has abandoned plans to make a Frank Sinatra biopic, with the late singer's estate refusing to sign off on the project. Some members of Sinatra's family, it seems, had concerns about the idea of a no-holds-barred portrait.

"Certain things are very difficult for a family, and I totally understand," says Scorsese, who's been trying for eight years to make the film a reality. "But if they expect me to be doing it, they can't hold back certain things. The problem is that the man was so complex. Everybody is so complex — but Sinatra in particular." (Rolling Stone)

Record Store Day announces tenth anniversary date

Record Store Day has announced that April 22 will be the date of its ten-year anniversary celebration. Details have yet to be announced, but it's likely that there will be something special in store this year for the event, which was founded in 2007 and has helped to spur a vinyl resurgence. (Rolling Stone)

Spoon, Shins debut new tunes

On Saturday night, Spoon debuted new material at a secret show in Austin, Texas. Watch clips and see the setlist at Pitchfork.

Also on Saturday, the Shins debuted a new song on A Prairie Home Companion: "The Fear," from their forthcoming album Heartworms (March 10). You can hear the show at prairiehome.org. (Pitchfork)

Obamas party with stars

On Friday night, Barack and Michelle Obama threw their last White House party. Among those in attendance: Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Chance the Rapper, Usher, John Legend, Kelly Rowland, and Wale. Solange said that she performed at the event with the Roots, calling it "the ultimate honor." (Pitchfork)


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