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Jazz Critic John Wilson Dies

John S. Wilson, The New York Times’ first regular jazz critic, died Tues., Aug. 27 at the Princeton, N.J. nursing home where he lived. He was 89.

Born in Elizabeth, N.J., Wilson grew up on swing and traditional jazz and began his writing career when bebop began taking over on 52nd Street in New York. Wilson would spend at least five nights a week on 52nd Street taking in the new music. Both listeners and musicians appreciated Wilson’s writing style, which displayed intelligent insights into the bebop sound based on a profound understanding of jazz’s past. Sonny Rollins named “John S.,” a song on his album The Bridge, after Wilson.

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