The former president and chief executive officer of Blue Note records Bruce Lundvall died yesterday at the age of 79 following surgery.

Blue Note have issued a statement: “It’s with great sadness that we announce the passing of beloved music man and longtime president of Blue Note Records, Bruce Lundvall. The cause was complications from a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. Born in Englewood, New Jersey in 1935, Bruce was a lifelong jazz lover whose passion for the music was ignited by Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker and the other beboppers he heard as an underage teenager at clubs along West 52nd Street in New York City in the 1950s.”

Lundvall began his career in the record industry at Columbia Records at the beginning of the 1960s and rose to head up its North American division. In the early-80s he launched Elektra/Musician and left to revive the then EMI-owned Blue Note Records in 1984 partnering with producer Michael Cuscuna. He stepped down from the label in 2010.

During his career Lundvall served as chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America and as a director of the National Academy of Recoding Arts and Sciences (the record industry body who run the Grammys) among other positions. He received a Downbeat lifetime achievement award in 1998.

Bruce Lundvall above. Photo