Richard M. Sudhalter, 69, a jazz musician, critic and biographer whose history of white jazz musicians prompted gales of protest when it was published in 1999, died Sept. 19 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, N.Y. He had multiple system atrophy, a degenerative condition similar to Lou Gehrig's disease.
Mr. Sudhalter was a first-rate trumpet and cornet player who specialized in the early styles of jazz. He led groups in the United States and Europe, recorded widely and was considered one of the finest heirs of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan and Bobby Hackett.
Mr. Sudhalter's more lasting contributions, however, came as a writer, first with Bix: Man & Legend, a 1974 biography of Beiderbecke, the doomed trumpet star of the 1920s who drank himself into an early grave.