Obituaries of progressive rock, fusion and electronic music artists who left us in 2011.
Renowned British guitarist Gary Moore died Sunday, February 6th, 2011 while on vacation in Spain. He was 58. Gary Moore was a member of progressive fusion band Colosseum II, which was formed in 1975 by the former Colosseum drummer and leader, Jon Hiseman. With Colosseum II, Moore recorded the albums Strange New Flesh (1976), Electric Savage (1977), and War Dance (1977). He was also a member of Thin Lizzy and recorded a series of successful blues albums.
Welsh guitarist and singer Micky Jones died Wednesday, March 10th, 2011. He was 63. Jones was one of the founders of Welsh psychedelic and progressive rock band, Man. Man combined psychedelia, progressive rock, blues jams and country-rock.
Mexican vocalist Rita Guerrero died March 11th, 2011 of breast cancer. She was 47. Rita Guerrero was the lead singer and one of the founders of iconic Mexican progressive band Santa Sabina. The group played music described as a mix of Gothic rock, jazz, progressive rock and experimental. Santa Sabina released 7 albums: Santa Sabina, produced by Adrian Belew (1992), Símbolos (1994), Concierto Acústico (1994), Babel (1995), MTV Unplugged (1997), Mar Adentro en la Sangre (2000), Espiral (2003), and XV Aniversario En Vivo (2005).
Argentine bass player Lalo de los Santos died March 25th, 2011. He was the bass player for Pablo el Enterrador, one of Argentina’s best known progressive rock bands. Lalo de los Santos played with Pablo el Enterrador from 1973 through 1980. The band recorded its debut album, Pablo el Enterrador, in 1979, but it was not released until 1983.
Italian keyboardist Alberto Bonomi died Sunday, June 26th, in an automobile accident. He was 48. Bonomi was the keyboardist for the well-known Italian progressive fusion band, D.F.A.( Duty Free Area). The group released Lavori in Corso (“Work in Progress”) (Scolopedra, 1997), Duty Free Area (Mellow Records, 1998), Kaleidoscope (Moonjune Records, 2000), Work in Progress – Live (Moonjune Records, 2001), 4th (MoonJune Records, 2008).
French composer and keyboardist Francois Cahen died July 13, 2011. He was a leading figure in French avant-garde music and was Magma’s first piano player. With Magma he recorded on Magma (1970) and 1001° Centigrades (1971). Cahen and former Magma saxophonist Yochko Seffer formed the legendary band Zao. With Zao he recorded Z=7L (1973), Osiris (1975), Shekina (1975), Kawana (1976), Live! (1976), Typhareth (1977), Akhenaton (1994). Cahen later worked with Ethnic Duo & Ethnic Trio.
Dutch bass player Ron Van Eck died July 20th, 2011. He was one of the founders of legendary Dutch progressive fusion band Supersister. The group’s debut album, Present From Nancy, came out in 1970. Next came To the Highest Bidder (1971) Pudding en Gisteren (1972). The next album, Iskander (1973), was more jazz-rock oriented. It was a concept album based upon the life of Alexander the Great.
Paolo Raciti, masterful keyboardist of Italian symphonic-progressive rock band Eris Pluvia died August 3rd, 2011. He was 46. Eris Pluvia was one of the finest Italian progressive rock bands of the 1990s. The Genoa-based band released Rings of Earthly Light in 1991. The most recent album was Third Eye Light (2000).
German electronic music pioneer Conrad Schnitzler died August 4th, 2011. He was an experimentalist and was also a member of two seminal German electronic music bands: Kluster and Tangerine Dream. Schnitzler studied under Stockhausen and composed more than 90 albums of solo recordings. He completed his final work, “00/830,” just four days before his death.
Betty Thatcher died August 15, 2011. She was an English singer-songwriter, who wrote most of the lyrics for the UK progressive rock band Renaissance. Some of her most memorable pieces include “Prologue”, “A song for all seasons” and “Novella.”
Classical music composer and multi-instrumentalist David Vickerman Bedford died October 1st, 2011. David Bedford worked with Mike Oldfield during the 1970s. He orchestrated the symphonic version of Tubular Bells for the album titled The Orchestral Tubular Bells, released in 1975. He also composed various classical/progressive rock concept albums, including Star’s End (1975) with Mike Oldfield and Chris Cutler, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1975) with Mike Oldfield and The Odyssey (1976) with Mike Oldfield and Andy Summers.
American keyboardist Moogy Klingman died in New York City, November 15th, 2011.. Klingman was the original keyboardist for Todd Rundgren and his progressive rock band Utopia. He played on 10 Todd Rundgren albums, as well as several Utopia albums. Klingman was 61.