The writer Stanley Crouch has died in hospital in New York aged 74. He had been ill for some time. The author of eight books and many articles, essays, album liner notes, and reviews on jazz he was as close to a household name in America as a jazz critic will ever become. Raised in Los Angeles he taught himself drums while also immersing himself in literature at the end of the 1960s becoming a poet-in-residence at Pitzer College and playing with a group of avant gardists callled Black Music Infinity whose members included David Murray, Arthur Blythe, James Newton, and Mark Dresser. Living in New York in the 1970s he wrote for the Village Voice and became a mentor to Wynton Marsalis. In 1987 he was on a committee to help found Lincoln Center's summer jazz series, leading to the establishment of Jazz at Lincoln Center. To the wider public be was best known for his column in the New York Daily News for which he wrote on cultural topics for 19 years. His honours included a MacArthur Fellowship in 1993, the Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction from Yale University, and an NEA Jazz Masters citation.