Legendary Record Exec Tommy LiPuma Has Died At Age 81
Eagle-eyed liner note lovers may be familiar with the name Tommy LiPuma, as for over six decades he was the executive and producer behind stars such as Dr. John, Queen Latifah, Natalie Cole and Miles Davis to name a few. It is with sad news to report that his family friend and jazz publicist, Regina Joskow, has announced his death due to an undisclosed illness.
Born in 1936, LiPuma was a Cleveland, Ohio original who gravitated to the saxophone as a musician. He went from a jazz bassist and composer to cutting hit records which included 35 titles that went gold or platinum. This includes classics such as George Benson‘s Breezin’ and Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable… With Love. Also throughout his journey, Tommy won five Grammy Awards and was nominated 33 times for the distinction.
LiPuma was a radio promoter for Liberty Records before he went on to produce early recordings by The O’Jays and Randy Newman. He was also the first staff producer at A&M Records, co-founded Blue Thumb Records with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame co-founder Bob Krasnow, and held top chief positions at Warner Bros. and Elektra producing music aimed at older audiences.
His last production was a forthcoming album by Diana Krall entitled, Turn Up The Quiet, which is scheduled for release in May.
Tommy LiPuma is survived by his wife, Gill, daughters Jen Monti and Danielle Wiener, and four grandchildren: Matty, Julia, Chloe and Ava.
We here at Okayplayer offer our sincerest condolences to family, friends and fans of the late record executive, musician and jack-of-all-trades.