Bill Lee, an accomplished jazz bassist who played with legends such as Duke Ellington and is the father of Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee has passed away, reports Variety. He was 94.

Spike Lee confirmed his father’s passing in a collage of photos he shared in an Instagram post shot by his brother David Charles Lee. ” DEEDS NOT WORDS,” the caption read.

In an interview with the New York Times, Spike Lee spoke about the impact that his father had on his artistic vision.

“Everything I know about jazz I got from my father,” Spike Lee said. “I saw his integrity, how he was not going to play just any kind of music, no matter how much money he could make.”

Born William James Edwards Lee in Snow Hill, Alabama in 1928, his mother Alberta Grace Edwards was a concert pianist, and his father Arnold Wadsworth Lee, was a musician. Bill Lee graduated from Morehouse College in 1951 and married his college sweetheart Jacqueline “Jackie”  Shelton who was attending Spelman College at that time.

In 1959, Lee launched his career in jazz as a session musician when he relocated to Brooklyn, New York with his family. He went on to play with Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte and Bob Dylan; he also worked closely with Max Roach, composing several records with the legendary drummer. Additionally, he helped compose many releases from the jazz record label Strata-East, including directing The New York Bass Violin Choir album in 1980.

Bill Lee scored Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, an early Spike Lee short which was the first student film to debut at the Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films Festival in 1983. Also, he scored She’s Gotta Have It  (1986), School Daze  (1988), Do The Right Thing (1989), and Mo’ Better Blues (1990). With the exception of Do The Right Thing, Lee appeared in each of his son’s films that he scored.

In addition to Spike Lee and David Charles Lee, Bill Lee is survived by his wife Susan Kaplan, his two daughters Joie Lee and Cinqué Lee, another son Arnold Lee, a brother and two grandchildren.

We at EBONY extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bill Lee.