Mic Gillette

Mic Gillette, renowned trumpet and trombone player and founding member of the legendary Oakland funky soul band Tower of Power, died suddenly of a heart attack over the weekend. He was 64.

Gillette started playing with members of seminal funk outfit back in 1966 and as first trumpet, he was a powerful sonic force behind Tower of Power's rise to prominence in the 1970s.

"The Tower of Power family was stunned today by the news that Mic Gillette, our dear friend and bandmate going back to 1966, passed away," bandleader Emilio Castillo announced on the group's website Sunday night.

"Mic was without a doubt the greatest brass player I've ever known," he said. "Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Julia and his daughter Megan and their entire family." [SF Gate]

Rest in peace to Mic Gillette of the great horn band Tower of Power, and fellow Bay Area bands Cold Blood and The Sons of Champlin. (He also has played with The Doobie Brothers, Blood Sweat & Tears, Santana, and more.)

Listen to Tower of Power's 1970 debut, East Bay Grease, below...