Sunday, October 14, 2018

Kevin Courrier (1954-2018)

Kevin Courrier, November 23, 1954-October 12, 2018. (Photo: John Marsonet)

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Kevin Courrier on October 12 after a three-year battle with cancer. Kevin co-founded Critics At Large in January 2010 along with Shlomo Schwartzberg and the late David Churchill and served as editor-in-chief until his illness compelled him to retire early this year. He also contributed hundreds of pieces, mostly on movies and music. Even after he was no longer able to write for the website, he continued to be heard here – literally as well as figuratively – on podcasts that had originated as interviews with a wide range of artists on the CJRT-FM radio show On the Arts throughout the 1980s.

Kevin was a fine writer and a formidable critic. He had a grasp of the popular arts that was simultaneously dazzlingly broad and effortlessly deep. He was a compendium of information about music and movies and he had a precise memory that never faltered, even in his final months. He had a rare – one might say unparalleled – gift for making unexpected and resonant connections between disparate works and ideas, unshakeable common sense, and the ability to make the complex lucid, whether on larger canvases (his books on Randy Newman, The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart) or smaller ones (his work on this website, the culmination of a career in journalism). These same qualities were apparent in the extraordinarily popular classes on film he gave to audiences of seniors in a variety of Toronto venues.

We offer below a small selection of reviews and articles that showcase his remarkable talent. We will miss his voice.

– The editorial team of Critics At Large

Out of This World: John Coltrane in Seattle (1965) September 24, 2015 

Lost Man – O.J.: Made in America June 23, 2016

You Probably Don't Even Hear It When It Happens: The Sopranos & The Death of the Gangster Hero August 26, 2016

A Change Is Gonna Come: The End of the Obama Era January 20, 2017

Bridge Over Troubled Water: The Fiftieth Anniversary of Bobby Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe" July 11, 2017

Run Through the Jungle: Ken Burns & Lynn Novick's The Vietnam War October 1, 2017

Deplorable: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri January 9, 2018

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this beautiful tribute. It sums up Kevin very welland he would have been pleased and touched. He is a loss to Critics at Large and to everyone fortunate enough to have known him. Launa Palset