My close friend Walter Blount transitioned to the afterlife yesterday. He and I attended elementary school together in Nyack, NY, and reconnected at Howard U. where Walter was in his third year when I arrived in 1970.
Blount and I bonded around our love for music, especially jazz. In the 1970s and ‘80s, he hosted a jazz program on WPFW-FM—around the same time that I was hosting a similar program on WDCU-FM. (He and I agree that Joe Henderson is jazz’s most underrated saxophonist.)
We also shared a thirst for soaking in as much Black history and culture as possible. In the past year or so, Blount and I have attended a preview of the Miles Davis documentary at the Maryland Film Festival, participated in a discussion of the life of songwriter Billy Strayhorn at the Library of Congress, seen a documentary about the Apollo Theatre at the National Archives, and taken part in a workshop led by jazz drummer Joe Chambers at the University of the District of Columbia.
I last saw Blount in late October when I drove to Baltimore to have lunch with him. We ate at the Baltimore Museum of Art and then checked out an exhibit at the museum co-curated by Walter’s oldest daughter, Lisa. I have no doubt that Blount’s two talented daughters, Elissa Blount Moorhead and Ericka Blount Danois, will carry on his legacy, especially when it comes to promoting and advancing Black culture. Sleep easy my good friend/brother. I’ll miss your wisdom and companionship.