His doctors determined that he had suffered a massive heart attack. By fusing jazz with soul music, saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. became one of the first young musicians on the jazz-funk scene. He then freelanced for a couple of years and played saxophone during his military service before settling in Philadelphia in 1967. [1], In the post-Winelight era, Washington is credited for giving rise to a new batch of talent that would make its mark in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After the band split up in 1963, Washington was drafted into the Army. Other career sidelights included playing at President Clinton’s 50th birthday celebration at Radio City Music Hall in 1996. When did organ music become associated with baseball? His doctors determined that he had suffered a massive heart attack. His main soprano was a black nickel-plated H. Couf Superba II (also built by Keilwerth for Herbert Couf) and a Keilwerth SX90 in the last years of his life. The album, Living Black, contains the outstanding version of Killer Joe, on which Washington's forthright opening tenor solo does so much to create the right ambiance. Now also playing flute, Washington's appeal became perhaps most tied up with the clean, piping yet mellow sound he squeezed from the soprano saxophone. He mastered the complexities of three different types of saxophone: tenor, alto and soprano. One of the first jazz musicians to fuse jazz with various other forms of music, Washington often was overlooked by jazz purists who saw his success with this kind of music as perverting the traditional jazz form. Search Obituaries & Guest Books on Legacy.com, Honor a loved one, place an obituary notice, Appreciation: Al Padilla was more than just an East L.A. coaching legend. “My big break was blind luck,” Washington later said. The album, “Inner City Blues,” was released under Washington’s name and became a hit, selling hundreds of thousands of copies while breaking down the barrier between jazz and pop. Already a mature soloist, with a command of the high register that became something of a trademark, Washington's success with Earland led to several similar recordings, including those led by organist Johnny Hammond Smith. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Washington made some of the genre's most memorable hits, including "Mister Magic", "Reed Seed", "Black Frost", "Winelight", "Inner City Blues" and "The Best is Yet to Come". Grover Washington died of a sudden heart-attack on 17 December In 1971, he was booked to play in the saxophone section on a record date featuring the popular alto-saxophonist Hank Crawford. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he met drummer Billy Cobham. His father gave Washington his first saxophone at age 10, but Washington’s first love was classical music. If you see something that doesn't look right on this page, please do inform us using the form below: St. Luke`s-Roosevelt Hospital, Manhattan, New York. Sister Ardeth Platte, who was jailed for her protests against nuclear weapons and inspired a character on “Orange Is the New Black,” dies at 84. If you are 13 years old when were you born? Conchata Ferrell, the insult-slinging Berta of ‘Two and a Half Men,’ dies at 77, “Two and a Half Men” star Conchata Ferrell has died at 77. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the success of his own Kudu albums, he finally gave up a day job wholesaling records and became one of the stars of a circuit that involved the likes of George Duke, Bob James, Marcus Miller and Steve Gadd, generally filed under a crossover or fusion heading. The complete list of L.A. Times’ endorsements in the November 2020 election. He found the time to study all the instruments because he knew from an early age that music was his calling. After his discharge, Washington continued his study of music, listening to John Coltrane, Joe Henderson and Oliver Nelson and playing with a number of small bands in Philadelphia and Washington. He was barely in his teens when he joined a local R&B group, and, at 16, began five years of working with the Four Clefs. He also played in a jazz and blues jam session with Clinton in 1993 after a White House concert celebrating jazz. Grover Washington Jr, … “My early lessons were on the saxophone, then it was the piano, the drum and percussion family, and the bass guitar,” he told an interviewer some years ago. His most successful album, “Winelight,” made it to the fifth spot on U.S. record charts. Grover Washington Jr. would have been 56 years old at the time of death or 71 years old today. Both albums were major parts of the jazz-funk movement of the mid-1970s. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Washington came from a musical family. Endorsements. The highlight of the album was his collaboration with soul artist Bill Withers, "Just the Two of Us," a hit on radio during the spring and summer of 1981, peaking at No.

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