Juini Booth, jazz bassist and longtime member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, has died. The group’s manager, Jack Reich, confirmed the news to Pitchfork on Thursday (July 15). Booth’s family told the Buffalo News that his health had declined over the last few weeks after a fall at home. He was 73 years old.
Born Arthur Booth, the bassist alternated between the monikers of Juini, Juni, Jooney, and other variations. Booth’s artistic career stretched for more than 50 years, beginning with Chuck Mangione in Booth’s home town of Buffalo, New York, in the mid-1960s. Having relocated to New York City by the end of the decade, Booth worked with the likes of jazz heavy-hitters like Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, Art Blakey, Sonny Sharrock, and Freddie Hubbard.
In addition to working regularly with McCoy Tyner in the 1970s, Booth performed as part of Tony Williams’ Lifetime ensemble during the decade. Booth joined the Arkestra in 1996, having previously worked with Sun Ra in the late 1980s. He continued to compose and perform throughout the rest of his life. “He was an international musician and a world-class musician,” his sister, Mary Booth-Bowden, told the Buffalo News.