Sunday, May 4, 2014

Noel Pointer

Noel Pointer was an American jazz violinist, composer, and record producer born on December 26, 1954.  Just as the lives of many musical luminaries were cut short – Wolfgang Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn, George Gershwin, Franz Schubert, Vasa Prihoda, Glenn Gould, Ginette Neveu, Josef Hassid, Arma Senkrah, Andrei Korsakov, and Michael Rabin come to mind – his life was also cut short at a very early age.  What he could have accomplished is anyone’s guess but he was well on his way to becoming a legend.  Early in his career he decided to take up jazz violin and went as far as producing albums.  Pointer also became involved in national social causes such as literacy and the arts, receiving special citations from the U.S. Congress.  In 1981, he was nominated for a Grammy.  He was 26 years old.  Pointer began his music studies at an early age but exactly what age I do not know.  He became interested in jazz while studying at New York’s High School for Music and Art.  He began playing for studio sessions while at the Manhattan School of Music.  His public debut took place at age 13 in New York, with the Symphony of the New World.  He went on to appear with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony as a classical violinist.  By age 19, Pointer was playing regularly with many theatre orchestras in New York City, including the Radio City Music Hall Symphony, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Orchestra, and the Apollo Theatre Orchestra.  Pointer enjoyed steady work as a club jazz violinist in New York as well.  He recorded for the Blue Note, United Artists, and Liberty record labels.  He also recorded with a variety of artists.  Of his seven solo albums, four reached Billboard’s top five jazz albums list.  As a composer, Pointer wrote music for several dance troupes in New York.  He died suddenly on December 9, 1994, at age 39.  

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