Posts Tagged ‘family’

Tower of Power Founder and Trumpeter Mic Gillette Dead at 64

Mic Gillette, first trumpet and founding member of Oakland funk outfit Tower of Power, died over the weekend after suffering a heart attack, the San Francisco Chronicle  reports. He was 64. 11 Greatest Guest Jams at Grateful Dead Concerts: Etta James and Tower of Power Formed in the late-Sixties as the Haight-Ashbury scene flourished across the San Francisco Bay, Tower of Power cultivated a brass-heavy sound that would make them one of the most important funk groups of the Seventies — and their horn section one of the most coveted. Revered promoter Bill Graham signed Tower of Power to San Francisco Records in 1970 after an audition at the Fillmore and released their debut LP, East Bay Grease, later that year. For their follow-up, Bump City , the group signed with Warner Bros. and scored a minor hit with  “You’re Still a Young Man.”  Their 1973 self-titled third LP spawned their highest charting track, “So Very Hard to Go,”  as well as seminal cuts “This Time It’s Real”  and opener “What is Hip?” Gillette played a bevy of brass instruments alongside trumpet throughout his tenure in Tower of Power, including trombone, flugelhorn and tuba. A California native and the son of Ray Gillette — a trombonist for big band leaders like Harry James and Tommy Dorsey — Gillette first picked up a trumpet at age four and by 15 was playing in the Gotham City Crime Fighters with fellow future Tower of Power members Emilio Castillo, Francis Rocco Prestia and David Garibaldi

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