William Thomas McKinley, composer and jazz musician

RS and William McKinley

William Thomas McKinley -- for 50 years, the most powerful, universal force for music in my life -- has died. He awakened in me the true and primal energy of music. Beginning with Attitudes (1965), he and his music unleashed a blinding spectrum of colors and emotions which took my breath and heart away. He left us miracles of music which will resonate with the boundless beauty and brilliance, the love of life, and the sweet surprise that only the greatest jazz musician and genius composer can express.

The photo was taken in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall after the world premier of Burning Bright by Tom. Photo by Hiroyuki Ito.