June 20, 2024

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Argentinian drummer Enrique “Zurdo” Roizner at age 84, British composer Laurie Johnson at age 96, Swedish pianist Göte Wilhelmson at age 95: Videos, Photos

Composer Laurie Johnson, who provided some of Britain’s best loved television themes and film music, has died at the age of 96.

Johnson’s memorable themes include The Avengers, The Professionals, Animal Magic, and This is Your Life.

The composer also arranged instrumental versions of dozens of songs, which were used as production music.

His family said Johnson died last Tuesday, “leaving behind a legacy that will forever resonate in our hearts”.

“Laurie’s music touched the lives of millions around the world. Throughout his illustrious career, he composed numerous iconic scores, themes and soundtracks that graced our lives across film, TV, theatre and radio,” they said in a statement.

“We remember Laurie as an extraordinary individual who embraced life with passion and brought joy to so many. His kindness, compassion and infectious sense of fun and laughter will be profoundly missed by all that knew him.”

Johnson died in his sleep, his family said. They added that he was “dearly loved by many” and is “sorely missed” by his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

The veteran composer, from north London, was prolific between the 1960s and 1980s, writing dozens of themes and scores. Other memorable TV themes include Jason King. His film credits include Dr Strangelove, Tiger Bay and It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet.

Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg in The Avengers in 1967

Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg in The Avengers in 1967

Musician, composer, conductor and – to use today’s titles – A&R manager. Göte Wilhelmson was all this in a long career where he collaborated with names such as Monica Zetterlund, Sven-Ingvars and Cornelis Vreeswijk. Now he has left us at 95.

It all started with an accordion. Göte Wilhelmson was only five years old when he made a success of that instrument in a radio program and became “Little Göte” with his hometown Åmål and soon far more places than that.

If he started in the limelight, as a professional he became more of a constant dealer, to speak sports language. He was pianist and/or conductor in the most popular popular orchestras of the post-war period. First in the behind the show group Vårat gäng, with famous guest performances by Alice Babs, later in Thore Ehrling’s Orkester. At Ehrling, Göte met singer Lily Berglund, whom he was married to, and played with, right up until her death in 2010.

Frukostklubben, Refrängen, Nygammalt, Sveriges Magasin and Gomorron Sverige, wherever there was a popular orchestra on Swedish radio or TV, Wilhelmson was there as bandmaster. His most significant contributions to the Swedish music industry, however, he made in a different role. For decades he was recording manager and artist manager – in today’s terms A&R manager – at two labels that are now part of Universal Music.

First Karusell (with names like Little Gerhard and Umberto Marcato) then from 1960 for 18 years at Philips. At the latter company, he discovered Sven-Ingvars and was the producer behind Monica Zetterlund and Bill Evans’ classic Waltz For Debby from 1964. He was also the producer for, for example, Cornelis Vreeswijk’s very successful Bellman LP from 1971. Vreeswijk was also involved when Wilhelmson at the end of the 1970s started his own GoodWill Records.

That despite this, Göte Wilhelmson is not mentioned in the books written about Cornelis is quite telling. He was not a man of great ambition. He was content to make sure it sounded good.

Drummer Enrique “Zurdo” Roizner, a musician with an extensive and notable career in which he was able to play with artists of the stature of Vinicius de Moraes, Frank Sinatra, Astor Piazzolla and Leandro “Gato” Barbieri and who for more than 20 years He is a member of Kevin Johansen’s band The Nada, died today at the age of 84 due to a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).

The irreversible stroke that attacked Roizner last Thursday, as reported by those close to the Télam family, put an end to a musical life as intense as it was renowned in which he put his personal and accurate touch at the service of very different proposals: from Les Luthiers to Daniel Viglietti and from Mercedes Sosa to the Moscow Circus.

The instrumentalist born on December 14, 1939 in Buenos Aires and declared Outstanding Personality of Culture by the Buenos Aires Legislature in August 2016, also joined La Banda Elástica, Anacrusa and groups led by bandoneon players Lepoldo Federico and Dino Saluzzi, among many others. participations that showed his ductility and talent.

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“For 16 seasons I played in Luna Park with 16 Moscow Circuses on different winter holidays. There they made me try a 70º proof Russian vodka. This distinction is stronger than that vodka; “That’s what it means to me,” commented the drummer upon learning of the distinction.

The musical present of Roizner, who with his drums navigated an era where session musicians from record labels recorded with artists of very different genres, was since 2002 also linked to the Tango Orchestra of the City of Buenos Aires.

In that impressive range of sounds, at the age of 25 he played third percussion in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and together with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic he participated in Piazzolla’s “Concerto for bandoneon and orchestra” together with Federico’s “fueye” soloist.

As a result of another tribute that he deserved last April within the Jazzology cycle that is based at the San Martín Cultural Center, the performer risked some of the reasons that were structuring his imposing walk on the scene.

“I think that having started playing the violin as a child, he gave me the opportunity to read music and at that time there were not many drummers who read music. In that I was lucky. It was important to make a replacement in an orchestra. They gave you the role and you played. There you had a wide spectrum to play because, in addition, most of the arrangers did not know how to write for drums, so there was room to create things,” he said in an interview with La Nación.

To add other signs capable of defining the way in which he assumed his passion, “Zurdo” said: “I am addicted to studying. Nowadays I study four hours a day. And at some point I studied up to eight or ten” and he also added: “I always liked all genres and I put the same interest in each of them.”

Faced with such a rush through studios and stages, Roizner accumulated anecdotes and experiences of various kinds, such as having played on Frank Sinatra’s historic visit to Argentina in August 1981 when he gave half a dozen concerts (four at the Sheraton Hotel and a couple at the Luna Park stadium).

“Sinatra’s show was tremendous, spectacular. And for me, being there was a nice experience. I played with Vinicius and on that occasion with Sinatra, and perhaps they are the most famous internationally, but I also really value having been there. with Piazzolla, Mercedes Sosa or Leopoldo Federico,” Roizner told Télam when 40 years passed since that event.

The musician recalled the details of that call and said: “Sinatra’s rhythm session did not want to play with Don Costa because apparently he had not called them for the recording in Los Angeles of “New York, New York.” They raised it with Sinatra and, according to what they told me, he told them that they were contracted to play with him and if they didn’t want to play in the preview, they had no obligation to do so. A complicated situation arose and that’s how we showed up playing there.”

“It was extraordinary to play with that legendary orchestra and with that legendary conductor. At rehearsal, when the orchestra started playing, I said to myself: ‘What is a boy like me doing in a place like that?’. It was tremendous,” he confessed. the drummer

Roizner, who was chosen by Johansen to illustrate the cover of his album “Mis Américas Vol. 1/2” (2016), also recorded and, to name just a portion of the collaborations made, with the duo Pastoral, Cuarteto Zupay, Cantoral , Saúl Cosentino, Beatriz Suárez Paz, Claudia Puyó for “Del Oeste” (1984) and with his admired Domingo Cura in “Percussion in Argentine folklore” (1994).

El Zurdo Roizner: recuerdos desordenados de un músico legendario y un amigo  entrañable

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