Legendary music producer Arif Mardin died of Pancreatic Cancer in New York. He was 74. Mardin first came to prominence as the producer at Atlantic Records during its glory days, working on legendary recordings of Aretha Franklin and more recently Norah Jones’s debut Come Away With Me, as well as classic works by Hall & Oats, Roberta Flack, Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Phil Collins.
Born March 15, 1932, in Istanbul, Turkey, Mardin studied at Istanbul University and the London School of Economics, immersing himself in music in his spare time. A pivotal meeting with jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in 1956 while the trumpeter was on tour in led to a change in direction for Mardin. He attended Berklee College Of Music on scholarship, graduating in 1961. He subsequently was hired as an assistant to Atlantic label founder and producer Nesuhi Ertegun. He quickly moved through the ranks, becoming studio manager and then a house producer and arranger.
A memorial service for Mardin will likely be in New York and he will be buried in his birth country.