Legendary jazz engineer Rudy Van Gelder has died aged 91

The Blue Note Records man died at his home in New Jersey

Rudy Van Gelder, an eminent sound engineer, has died aged 91.

Born in Jersey City, NJ on November 2, 1924, Van Gelder (pictured above, third on the left, with the Roger Dawson Septet) became a well known name in the jazz world, working extensively in the 50s and 60s for labels such as Blue Note, Impulse and Prestige.

Artists that Van Gelder worked for include John Coltrane – on his seminal 1965 LP ‘A Love Supreme’ – Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis.


On Thursday night at his Englewood Cliffs home in New Jersey, which also doubled as his studio, Van Gelder passed away, his assistant Maureen Sickler told the New York Times.

NMEMiles Davis/Getty

Last year Miles Davis was voted the greatest jazz artist of all time in a poll compiled by the BBC.

And in April a biopic about Davis’s life was released, starring actor Don Cheadle, who also co-wrote and directed the movie.

Speaking to NME about the late great musician, and why he wanted to make the film in the first place, Cheadle said: “He changed music three or four times…he was always searching for another sound at a time when he could have made a living playing the music people were comfortable with. But he wasn’t comfortable with that. He had to push himself to new, unknown places and take a lot of chances.”