Thursday, 9 April 2020

Stay Awake, Stay Asleep... R.I.P. Hal Willner!

Just heard a couple of days ago the sad news, that Hal Willner, Music & Tribute concert Producer and Longtime ‘SNL’ Music Supervisor, died at 64 on 7/4/2020. According to a representative of the Hollywood Reporter Willner had symptoms consistent with coronavirus.
As a producer he was responsible for many lauded albums by Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Gavin Friday, Bill Frisell and of course Marianne Faithfull and was pivotal in the career of Jeff Buckley.
Since 1985 he also produced and curated numerous tribute albums for Theolonius Monk, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Nino Rota, Kurt Weill and Walt Disney's Film music with an illustrious cast of musicians from Rock, Pop, Jazz, Americana & Avantgarde background. According to Variety, which first reported news of Willner’s death, he was compiling a T. Rex tribute album at the time of his death. If you want to know more about the man behind all this projects read this extensive Interview with Hal from 2013 here.
Hal live in March 2020:

Gregory Corso with Marianne Faithfull (who has been in hospital with Covid 19 in April 20):
Thoughts Concerning A Sickness

Hal's appreciation of outsiders pirates & rogues resulted in 2 compilations:
Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads

He also appreciated composers like Nino Rota

and  issued even 2 tribute albums to Kurt Weill:

and an eclectic nod to the music for the classic Disney movies:

Jazz Giants:


Bird Up - The Charlie Parker Remix Project:

Charlie Mingus Weird Nightmares (album):

Weird Nightmares(film):

"Whoops, I'm an Indian" from 1998 is his only personal album:

At the time of his death he was working on a tribute album to Marc Bolan. He can be seen in the background in the studio while recording "Cosmic Dancer" the contribution of Nick Cave:
"Cosmic Dancer" is from "Angelheaded Hipster": The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex’
 Tribute Album Out in September, feat. U2 & Elton John, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, Joan Jett, Kesha & Many More and it has Sean & Julian Lennon on the same album (Albeit on different tracks)!
(Of course Produced and compiled by the late Hal Willner)


Rolling Stone, Hal Willner

The Guardian, Hal Willner

Stay tuned! In the coming weeks I will update this post with more infos, concerts & tributes!
Don't forget I am always grateful for suggestions & comments!

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