NEW YORK -- Pianist and composer Andrew Hill, one of the most vital and groundbreaking artists in jazz's post-bop movement during a career that spanned a half-century, died Friday after a three-year struggle with lung cancer, his record label announced.
He was 75.
Mr. Hill died at his Jersey City, N.J., home just 14 months after releasing his final album, "Time Lines," a farewell that earned him album of the year honors from Down Beat magazine and jazz artist of the year from Playboy.
He was performing just three weeks ago with his trio at Manhattan's Trinity Church.
"Our hearts go out to his wife, Joanne, and the countless musicians, friends, and fans that his music and spirit touched over the course of his remarkable life," said a statement from Blue Note Records. There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.
Although Mr. Hill was widely lauded within the jazz community, his music was often overlooked by mainstream audiences, which focused on the work of contemporaries such as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.
Mr. Hill performed with both in the 1950s.
The Chicago native displayed a musical bent from his earliest years. "I could play the piano as long as I've been talking," Mr. Hill told one interviewer.
He began his formal training at age 13 after receiving encouragement from prominent jazz figures Earl "Fatha" Hines and Bill Russo.
Mr. Hill's professional career began in 1952; he worked with Parker, Davis, and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins before releasing his debut album three years later.
Mr. Hill came to New York in 1961 to work with singer Dinah Washington.
In 1963, he began a long association with the Blue Note label, where he released a series of classic post-bop albums that included the oft-hailed "Point of Departure."
Mr. Hill spent most of the 1970s and 1980s in academia, teaching in colleges, public schools, and prisons while releasing only occasional albums.
After nearly a decade away from recording, he resurfaced in the new millennium with three new albums: "Dusk" with his Point of Departure Sextet in 2000; the big band production "A Beautiful Day" in 2002; and "Time Lines" last year.
In 2004, the same year he was diagnosed with cancer, Mr. Hill released "Passing Ships," a collection recorded in 1969 and shelved for 35 years because Blue Note considered it noncommercial.