I received word this morning from bassist Don Messina that pianist Sal Mosca passed away yesterday afternoon at the age of 80 after battling a number of illnesses for the past several years. Mosca, whose story as a musician is inevitably linked to teacher/mentor Lennie Tristano, was an immensely talented player with a lyrical warmth that belied the oft-cited “coolness” of the Tristano school. His playing is best showcased on the 1979 album A Concert, but interested listeners should also seek out his recordings with Warne Marsh, the Marsh-Lee Konitz Atlantic album on which he appears, and his Zinnia dates Recital in Valhalla and Thing-Ah-Majig. There’s some ongoing discussion at the Organissimo forum.
UPDATE: A very nice appreciation from Marc Myers at JazzWax.