Blue Note and Prestige jazz guitarist Melvin Sparks dies aged 64

Influential soul-jazz session man passes away

Soul-jazz session guitarist Melvin Sparks has died aged 64.

Sparks passed away at his home in Mount Veron, New York on March 13. The New York Times reports that his wife Judy Hassan confirmed his death and said that he had diabetes and high blood pressure.

As a session guitarist for legendary jazz labels Blue Note and Prestige he recorded with organists Jack McDuff, Dr Lonnie Smith and Charles Earland.

He kicked off his solo recording career in 1970 with ‘Sparks!’ and went on to release a total of 10 albums.

In the 1990s he had something of a career revival on the acid-jazz circuit, kicked off with his stint as an opener on the Greyboy Allstars first tour in 1994. He would go onto play with Galactic and Soulive.