By Jon Pareles
July 4, 2018
Henry Butler, a pianist who carried the flamboyant, two-fisted traditions of New Orleans to the brink of the avant-garde, died on Monday in a hospice facility in the Bronx. He was 69.
His death was confirmed by his manager, Art Edelstein. Mr. Butler, who had lived in Brooklyn since 2009, had been treated for metastic colon cancer.
Mr. Butler’s music was encyclopedic, precise and wild. He was acclaimed as a member of a distinctively New Orleans piano pantheon alongside Jelly Roll Morton, James Booker, Tuts Washington, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. He was also a forthright, bluesy singer who often used New Orleans standards as springboards for improvisation.
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