Elmo Hope: Age 43 | Cause Of Death: POOR MAINTENANCE

Elmo Hope

(Born: June 27, 1923 — Died: May 19, 1967)

St. Elmo Sylvester Hope was born in New York on June 27, 1923. He began piano studies at age seven and, by 1938, was winning medals for solo recitals. He and his boyhood friend, Bud Powell, spent time together listening to Bach, and playing for each other…[“At the very instant when Monk and Powell had lost some of their creative fire, Elmo Hope . . . seemed destined to assume a place among the very finest pianists in jazz history, but he had little chance to build on his achievements. Instead, he left only a few glimpses with which we may conjure what a full and secure career might have offered.” ~David H. Rosenthal]…It was obvious that Hope was caught up in the pursuit of the “horse” that many musicians were riding at the time…In 1967 Elmo was hospitalized with pneumonia for several weeks and while recuperating, succumbed to an apparent heart attack. ~Ira Gitler