OBITUARY: r.i.p. Coleman Mellett & Gerry Niewood

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A few minutes ago I found out that one of the people who died last week on Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York was guitarist Coleman Mellett, and along with him on the plane was fellow musician and bandmate, saxophonist Gerry Niewood.

I became aware of Mellett through his work with Neal Sugarman and his band, The Sugarman 3, who recorded for the Desco and Daptone labels. He was also a session musician and had spent the last few years touring and recording with jazz great Chuck Mangione, which is how he met Gerry Niewood. Niewood had been a close friend of Mangione since they were kids, which lead to them recording and touring together, including the “Feels So Good” craze. Niewood and Mellett were headed to Buffalo to re-join Mangione for a concert.

My condolences go out to the Mellett and Niewood families.