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Jazz producer, label head and writer Orrin Keepnews dies

One of the founders of Riverside Records, Keepnews produced records by musicians including Bill Evans, George Russell, Yusef Lateef and Thelonious Monk

Jazz producer, writer and record label owner Orrin Keepnews has died. One of the founders of Riverside Records, Keepnews produced records by musicians including Bill Evans, George Russell, Yusef Lateef and Thelonious Monk.

Born in New York in 1923, he started out as a journalist and editor, running jazz magazine The Record Changer and writing one of the earliest features about Thelonious Monk in 1948. He would later write the sleevenotes for Monk’s 1956 album Brilliant Corners and, as its producer, spliced together the title track of that album after the musicians failed to record a complete take. After Riverside closed in 1964, Keepnews cofounded other labels, including Milestone in 1966 and Landmark in 1985. In 1987 he published a book, The View From Within: Jazz Writings 1948–87.