Smooth Jazz Rocker Jeff Golub Dies at 59, a Tribute to be Held at B.B. King's on Jan. 21

By Ian Holubiak on Jan 02, 2015 07:46 PM EST
Smooth Jazz Rocker Jeff Golub Dies at 59, Paid Tribute at B.B. King's on Jan. 21 Jeff Golub performing on stage at the 2009 Berks Jazz Festival on April 3rd, 2009 in Reading, Pennsylvania. (Photo : Andrew Lepley/Getty Images)

It is amiss to have to begin the year on such a sour note. On Jan. 1, the blues-jazz-rock guitar-playing aficionado, Jeff Golub, died following a lengthy illness that left him blind and physically impaired. He was 59 years old.

Having experienced a series of setbacks, Golub had retired from live appearances after an illness rendered him unable to perform. While gradually losing his eyesight since June 2011, which was the effect of a collapsed optic nerve, he also unveiled a deeper seated and more obscure sickness: Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, PSP is characterized as a rare brain disorder that causes serious and progressive problems with control of gait (walking) and balance, along with complex eye movement and thinking problems.

It goes on to say that the inability of certain eye movements derives from lesions on the brain. Mood and behavior, thus, are also affected.

But we will remember Golub for his contributions to music rather than his disease. A celebrated guitarist, he has worked with a laundry list of acts including Billy Squier, Rod Stewart Ashford and Simpson, Alphonse Mouzon, Kirk Whalum, Mindi Abair, Everette Harp, Peter Wolf, John Waite, Vanessa Williams, Gato Barbieri, Bill Evans, Rick Braun, Tina Turner, Dar Williams, Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright, Henry Butler and more. He also released a string of bestselling solo albums as a smooth band jazz leader.

Having started his recording career as a member of Squier's band, Golub poured his electric coloring onto several of Squier's hits on Capitol records.

Golub's final album, made with keyboardist Brian Auger, Train Kept A Rolling, was inspired by an incident of him falling onto the subway tracks and being dragged by a train. Luckily, the accident left him unscathed.

A tribute concert will be held in Golub's honor at B.B. King's Blues Club in Manhattan on Jan. 21 and will feature many of the artists Golub collaborated with.

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TagsJeff Golub, National Institute of Neurological Disorders, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Bill Evans, Capitol Records, Billy Squier

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