Rudy Van Gelder, the audio engineer who helped shape the sound of modern jazz on thousands of recordings including such timeless albums as John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, Lee Morgan’s The Sidewinder and Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, has died. He was 91.
Blue Note Records spokesman Cem Kurosman said Van Gelder died on Thursday morning at his home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The home was also the site of Van Gelder’s studio for more than half a century.
In 1953, Van Gelder began a 14-year association with Blue Note, helping turn the small independent label into a major force in modern jazz on recordings by Hancock, Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Thelonius Monk and Eric Dolphy, among others.
He also worked extensively with other leading jazz labels, including Prestige, Impulse! and CTI.
The jazz drummer and New Jersey resident TS Monk, son of Thelonious Monk, told NJ.com: I would say [my father and Van Gelder] learned how to record jazz together. He really, really got it right. You can list to a Rudy Van Gelder from the 1950s that sounds like it was recorded today.
Of his own work at the Englewood Cliffs studio, he said: I felt like I was working with a giant.
News Source TheGuardianNews