Just found out today that Jon Lucien, one of the most beautiful voices in jazz soul, passed away on August 18th. His voice is one of the expressive, warm and versatile I’ve ever heard and playing the incomparable Would You Believe In Me? never fails to make my hairs stand on end. Nobody else could quite so effortlessly fuse modern soul, island spirit and heartfelt jazz the way he could. He’ll be sorely missed.
Tragically, his daughters Zeudi Jacira and Dalila both died (Dalila on TWA Flight 800 in 1996) and Lucien spent most of the 1980s battling drug addiction before returning to the fold in the following decade to the delight of fans old and new alike.
But let’s end on a couple of high notes, from sly ol’ Jon himself:
“The record company was attempting to package me as a sort of ‘black Sinatra’. Once the white women started to swoon at my performances, their attitudes quickly changed.”
“My sound is a romantic sound. It’s water, it’s ocean, it’s tranquillity. I’ve experienced tragedy, had professional disappointment, loved, lost, lived. I hope to heal people who are sad and spiritually dead because, even though I don’t pray in the music, the spirit is still there.”