I was saddened to read of the death of musician and critic Leonard Feather (Sept. 23). He had a discerning ear for the talented rising musician as well as an ability to re-evaluate the old pro, and his gift for articulating that discernment in his reviews is one of the reasons jazz is treated with more respect now than at any time in the past.
Feather, along with fellow writers Nat Hentoff and the late Ralph J. Gleason, (1917-1975), formed a triumvirate of men who, beginning especially in the years after World War II, brought a new intelligence to the art of writing about jazz music, which showed that jazz was about much more than the drugs and smoke-filled dives with which the general public usually associated it.
RICHARD T. ZUELCH
* With the passing of the incomparable Leonard Feather, the jazz world has lost one of its most durable, brilliant and articulate advocates. I differed with him on only two issues--his adulation of the late Miles Davis, in my opinion a mediocre trumpeter who ultimately forswore his jazz roots by dabbling in rock 'n' roll; and his apparent animus toward everything pre-Minton's, resulting in short shrift to us doddering devotees of Dixieland and straight-ahead Big Band jazz.
Feather's like will not be seen again!
MARVIN H. LEAF