Veteran jazz musician Bill Lee has passed away. Bill Lee, father of renowned filmmaker Spike Lee, breathed his last on Wednesday morning. He was 94.
The news was confirmed on Spike Lee’s official Instagram handle where he shared a series of portraits of his late father captured by David Charles Lee. He also shared the album art for his 1989 film Do The Right Thing score, which Bill Lee composed.
“My Father, Bill Lee played bass on Bob Dylan’s classic song It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue in his album Bringing It All Home. This morning, May 24th my father made his transition. Today is also the birthdate of Bob Dylan…,” Spike Lee wrote.
Bill Lee also wrote the soundtracks for his son’s first three feature films She’s Gotta Have It (1986), School Daze (1988), and Mo’ Better Blues (1990). He also scored an early Spike Lee short, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, the first student film to premiere at Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films Festival, in 1983. Bill Lee and his son were estranged for some time in the mid-1990s due to differences over finances and family matters, putting an end to their film and music collaborations. In addition to Spike Lee, Bill Lee is survived by his wife, along with three sons and daughter, a brother and two grandchildren.
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