For years in the mid-nineties, I enjoyed a band called Morphine. It was a minimalist, laconic, jazzy three-piece made up of Mark Sandman (vocals, 2-String Slide Bass), Dana Colley (baritone, tenor, and double saxophones) and Billy Conway (drums). The odd mix of instruments coupled with Sandman’s voice made for a very distinctive sound, even without considering their songwriting talent. Here’s a sample from Cure for Pain).
On July 3, 1999, Morphine were playing a show just outside Rome. During the second song of the set, Mark Sandman had a massive heart attack. He collapsed, and died en route to the hospital. He was 46 years old. (Obits from Boston Phoenix and Salon.) Posthumously, the band released what many think of as their strongest record, The Night.
If you enjoyed Morphine, or just enjoyed the track I supplied above, you might look into Twinemen. Conway and Colley, joined by Laurie Sargent, are still making music. They don’t have Mark anymore, but the samples from the site were enough to convince me to order the record.