Bill Lee, Jazz Bassist, Father Of Spike Lee, Passes At 94

 Bill Lee, Jazz Bassist, Father Of Spike Lee, Passes At 94

Spike Lee (Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency /

BILL LEE, a jazz musician and songwriter who played with the likes of BOB DYLAN, SIMON & GARFUNKEL and HARRY BELAFONTE and scored several of his son SPIKE LEE’s early films, died in BROOKLYN at the age of 94.LEE composed several soundtracks to SPIKE’s early films, including “Do The Right Thing.””Everything I know about jazz, I got from my father,” SPIKE told the NEW YORK TIMES in 1990. “I saw his integrity, how he was not going to play just any kind of music, no matter how much money he could make.”The two became estranged in the ’90s.Born in SNOW HILL, AL, on JULY 23rd, 1928, LEE taught himself to play several instruments, beginning his music career in ATLANTA and CHICAGO before settling in FORT GREENE, BROOKLYN, in 1959. He worked as a session musician and upright bass player.LEE played with ODETTA, WOODY GUTHRIE, CAT STEVENS, GORDON LIGHTFOOT, JOHN LEE HOOKER and PETER, PAUL & MARY, among others. He can be heard on BOB DYLAN’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” and ARETHA’s debut album, “ARETHA.”LEE worked on his son SPIKE’s first four films, including “She’s Gota Have It,” “School Daze,” “Do The Right Thing” and “Mo’ Better Blues.”The two had a falling out over the father’s heroin arrest in the early ’90s.

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