Jazz bandleader and pioneering composer Butch Morris has lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 65.

The musician died at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday (29Jan13).

Born Lawrence D. Morris in Long Beach, California, the artist landed his early breaks with saxophonist David Murray's groups in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He went on to lead a group called Orchestra Slang, and was a regular performer at the Big Apple's Festival of New Trumpet Music.

Morris will perhaps be best remembered for creating the modern method of conduction - short for conducted improvisation - a word he trademarked and defined as "an improvised duet for ensemble and conductor".

He introduced the method in 1985.

Morris was diagnosed with cancer in August (12).