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Cecil Payne R.I.P

53 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Dec. 14, 1922 - Nov. 27, 2007

Baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne, who asserted the baritone’s role in bop, died Tuesday morning of cancer in New York.

Payne was born in New York City on Dec. 14, 1922.

He started his musical life singing and playing guitar.

After hearing Young on a recording with Count Basie, Payne asked his father, who played tenor, for a horn and received an alto.

His father thought the light, airy playing of Young was done on the alto.

Payne mastered that as well as the clarinet, which he played in army bands from '43 to '46.

In '46 Payne made his debut on baritone sax with a band led by Clarence Briggs, and his last recording on alto on a session led by J.J. Johnson.

After a stint with Roy Eldridge, Payne established himself as a bop saxophonist in Dizzy Gillespie's big band.

Settled in New York City, he played in bands led by James Moody and Tadd Dameron; freelanced from '49 to '52; toured with Illinois Jacquet from '52 to '54; and made notable recordings with Duke Jordan and Randy Weston.

Payne retired from the jazz scene during the late '50s but acted and wrote songs for Jack Gelber's play The Connection in the early '60s.

Payne returned to music as a soloist in Machito's Afro-Cubans and with Lucky Thompson's octet.

After touring Europe with Lionel Hampton in '64, he again left the scene, only to return a couple years later to play with Weston, Woody Herman, and Gillespie.

After a two-year stint with Basie, Payne formed a quartet which was active well into the '80s. Payne also recorded with Nick Brignola in '79 and formed a trio with Bill Harman and Richard Wyand in '86.

Recently, Payne began playing gigs in New York after six years in seclusion due to blindness.

He reunited with friends, Quincy Jones, Ron Carter, Frank Foster, Freddie Hubbard, Candido, Ray Baretto, Clark Terry, Frank Wess and so many others, when he played the annual "Great Night In Harlem" Benefit Concert for the Jazz Foundation at the Apollo.

After this, Cecil found time to perform in the local nursing homes in the Somerdale area, entertaining elderly patients for free.

Down Beat Magazine

"I was going blind and couldn't see to shop or cook, I was living on two cans of SlimFast a day for over a year and a half...

The Jazz Foundation saved my life"

- Cecil Payne

http://www.jazzfoundation.org/

Edited by Cyril

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Posted (edited)

great saxophonist and a very nice man - only met him once or twice, but he was a very soft spoken, modest guy and very easy to talk to -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Posted

RIP. I have a few recordings where he appears and enjoyed his contributions there.

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Posted

RIP. He was much loved in this house. I will spin some of his Delmarkd today.

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Posted

Cecil was a great guy. I saw him several times and made sure I got a chance to talk to him between sets.

RIP Cecil. The be-bop generation is almost gone.

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Posted

Sad news.

His recordings for the Charlie Parker and Strata-East labels are not to be missed. Unfortunately, I stupidly skipped out on a gig he was playing in Topeka when I lived in Lawrence.

RIP.

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Posted

Many years ago I saw Cecil at a club here in Boston. I went up to him between sets to ask him to autograph an LP, and was caught off guard with how friendly he was.

He signed it "Love and Be-Bop, Cecil Payne"

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Posted

Back in the late 80's/early 90's I got to see him perform a bunch of times at Ortlieb's here in Philly. Always a treat.

R.I.P.

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Posted

Stay on it.

R.I.P.

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Posted (edited)

Very sad news to start the day with. RIP Mr. Payne.

Edited by B. Goren.

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Posted

This is indeed sad news.

R.I.P.

I never had the pleasure of meeting him or hearing him perform live but his Zodiac LP remains a personal favorite.

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Posted (edited)

RIP. I particularly enjoyed his work on Jimmy Smith's SIX VIEWS OF THE BLUES. Perhaps my favorite performance of his was on Dizzy Reece's "Spiritus Parkus" from ASIA MINOR.

Edited by Big Al

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Posted

a horrible tragedy for bebop. i just played his connection snd'trk on charlie parker records. that isinteresting he was w/ machito. maybe thats why KD used him on his Afro-Cuban lp!

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Posted

Very sad news. :(

He was one of the last survivors of the BeBop era!

And a baritone saxophone master!

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Posted

Sad news indeed. RIP

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Posted

Sad news indeed!

Here's a nice picture by Spanish photographer Esther Cidoncha (her website + her blog), taken in 1992:

post-150-1196235624_thumb.jpg

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Posted

So long Cecil, and thank you for the music.

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Posted

truly a great player - I've always felt his playing on the 1950 Savoys (with Kenny Dorham?) was very individual and very personal - an approach that had some of the lightness of Chaloff with a little more aggression - wonderful musician, one of the Brooklyn guys, along with Max and Duke Jordan, so this makes a sad trio of loss this year -

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Posted

very sad news!

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Posted

Cyril, thanks for including the link to The Jazz Foundation. Wendy Oxenhorn is its driving force and a remarkable person. This is a charity that deserves every penny it gets--I'm glad that they were able to help Cecil.

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Posted

Sad news.

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Posted

RIP, Cecil. A very fine player. I have a couple of his Delmark CD's which I enjoy very much. Also a Muse LP with Duke Jordan called "Brooklyn Brothers."

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Posted

R.I.P.

Sound-wise, by far my favourite baritone player.

Duh - just back from Sicily, and such sad news .....

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Posted (edited)

Caught that post earlier this a.m., Clem--I figured Brooklyn would be calling for Mr. Payne. Very nice tribute. I'll have to track down/check out that Strata East album.

Bummed about this, even if he did live a long life and all that--going to spin the records with Weston this p.m.

Edited by ghost of miles

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