Hal McKusick

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Posted

Saxophonist Hal McKusick passed away this week. One of the many unsung heroes in jazz. The guy was everywhere. His album Cross Section Saxes is a classic. Hal was 87 and died of complications that arose from a hip fracture.

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Posted

Damn :o

One of my unsung heroes! A remarkable musician who contributed mightily to so many memorable record sessions.

Obituary in the local newspaper!

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Posted

Damn -- I talked to him about six weeks ago re: Don Joseph. What a nice man, and he was as alert as could be. Always liked his music, too.

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Posted (edited)

RIP.

Will certainly spin some of his his Coral/Decca/Prestige/RCA LPs during the wekend (don't have his Bethlehem, it seems ...).

But how about moving this thread into the ARTISTS section where it will get noticed the way it derserves?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Posted

Another one gone...

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Posted

R.I.P. - such a good player. I can't think of those many great experimental sessions of George Russell and others without thinking of him.

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Posted

Really sorry to hear this. One thing I loved about Hal McKusick is that he tried to make his music compositionally interesting; and since he wasn't a great composer, he persuaded/commissioned Gil Evans, George Russell, George Handy, Jimmy Giuffre, Al Cohn, etc. to write for him. There's nothing wrong with blowing sessions, but Mr. McKusick's albums have a substance to them beyond what most blowing sessions can achieve.

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Posted

Definitely one of my jazz heroes too. He's on so much wonderful stuff that he's on my player most weeks. RIP and thanks for all the music.

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Posted

Sad loss but he leaves a fine legacy in some really excellent sessions

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Posted

Very sad news. RIP Mr. McKusick.

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Posted

Wow. RIP.

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Posted

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Posted

A friend of mine who lives in Sag Harbor told me McKusick was leading a local band a few years ago.

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Posted

Very sad... love his mid-50s recordings with Galbraith.

Must confess that I had to read up what happened to him after he vanished from the jazz world - seem she still played some jazz. There are no recordings, however?

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Posted

How did these cats make a living post 1970? The jazz they grew up on was largely gone. Hal was in the CBS orch., but how long did that last? Teaching, I suppose ... they certainly had the rudiments ...

Q

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Posted (edited)

I believe McCusick was in the antiques business- IIRC someone who knew him told me this.

and he did society work, musically speaking. Jeff Fuller, a New Haven bass player who worked with him, told me this years ago.

Edited by AllenLowe

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Posted

Here's Marc Myers' biography:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:h4CPVbX_4jsJ:www.halmckusick.com/jazz/biography/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ch&client=opera

some bits from there:

Hal bought a house originally built in 1796 and restored it. He also began taking on music students, recorded frequently in New York and playing gigs at Lush Life, Sweet Basil and other jazz clubs in the city at the time.

...

Also in the 1970s, Hal earned his commercial pilot’s license, learning stunt flying in a Bellanca Citabria, an Italian aerobatic high wing aircraft. He also began piloting charter flights from eastern Long Island to New England states and islands along the Eastern seaboard. Hal also relocated during the winter months to St. Barts, flying passengers between nearby Caribbean islands by day and playing with a trio at island restaurants and clubs at night.

In the 1980s, Hal opened an antiques store next to his Sag Harbor home, which led to a life-long interest in building and restoring Shaker furniture. Soon he was supplying Bloomingdale’s department store in New York with his pieces until private commissions for furniture dominated his time.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Hal produced weekend performances at Jazz at Moon, an Easthampton, N.Y., club-restaurant as well as local concerts, benefits and private events. His band included Jaki Byard and Dick Katz (piano), George Duvivier, Alex Layne and Ed Schuller (bass) and J.R. Mitchell (drums). This led to the formation of a nonet that performed locally and featured Clark Terry, Art Farmer, Percy Heath, Jim Hall, Mike LeDonne, Hank Jones, Jim McNeely, Jerry Dodgion and others.

In 1993, Hal began teaching music at the Ross School in East Hampton, N.Y., where he founded the Ross School Jazzband. Hal continues to perform, record and teach, and he and his wife Jan live in the 1796 home he restored years ago.

I wish some recordings would turn up! Someone must have had a tape recording running the 70s or 80s!

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Posted

McKusick was a VERY nice man, kind and very generous with his time. I did a thing on Charlie Parker in 2005 and I spoke to a few old-timers. McKusick insisted that I called him to the hospital where he was recovering from some ailment I can't remember right now.

As a musician he was curious, perhaps more interested than interesting, but always trying new things.

As for late recordings, he did tell me he had a tape of himself in a quartet with Jaki Byard on piano.

Mike Fitzgerald also has this here:

Date: September 18, 1979

Location: Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA

Label: [private recording]

Hal McKusick (ldr), Hal McKusick (as, ts), Tony Zano (p), Charlie LaChappelle (b), Joe Hunt (d)

a. 01 Summertime (George Gershwin, Dubose Heyward)

b. 02 How Insensitive [aka Insensatez] (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius DeMoraes, Norman Gimbel)

c. 03 The Underdog (Al Cohn, Dave Frishberg)

d. 04 Broadway (Bill Bird, Teddy McRae, Henri Woode)

e. 05 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams, Bernie Hanighen)

f. 06 Billie's Bounce (Charlie Parker)

Private tape exists.

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Posted

Just getting around to this mofo. Just bought his Decca stuff and damn is it so effing good. S

ad to hear he's gone.

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Posted

McKusick was a VERY nice man, kind and very generous with his time. I did a thing on Charlie Parker in 2005 and I spoke to a few old-timers. McKusick insisted that I called him to the hospital where he was recovering from some ailment I can't remember right now.

As a musician he was curious, perhaps more interested than interesting, but always trying new things.

As for late recordings, he did tell me he had a tape of himself in a quartet with Jaki Byard on piano.

Mike Fitzgerald also has this here:

Date: September 18, 1979

Location: Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA

Label: [private recording]

Hal McKusick (ldr), Hal McKusick (as, ts), Tony Zano (p), Charlie LaChappelle (b), Joe Hunt (d)

a. 01 Summertime (George Gershwin, Dubose Heyward)

b. 02 How Insensitive [aka Insensatez] (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius DeMoraes, Norman Gimbel)

c. 03 The Underdog (Al Cohn, Dave Frishberg)

d. 04 Broadway (Bill Bird, Teddy McRae, Henri Woode)

e. 05 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams, Bernie Hanighen)

f. 06 Billie's Bounce (Charlie Parker)

Private tape exists.

I have a cd of his playing in Sag Harbor but I promised the guy who gave it to me not to circulate it because McKusik had asked him not to.

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Posted

McKusick was a VERY nice man, kind and very generous with his time. I did a thing on Charlie Parker in 2005 and I spoke to a few old-timers. McKusick insisted that I called him to the hospital where he was recovering from some ailment I can't remember right now.

As a musician he was curious, perhaps more interested than interesting, but always trying new things.

As for late recordings, he did tell me he had a tape of himself in a quartet with Jaki Byard on piano.

Mike Fitzgerald also has this here:

Date: September 18, 1979

Location: Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA

Label: [private recording]

Hal McKusick (ldr), Hal McKusick (as, ts), Tony Zano (p), Charlie LaChappelle (b), Joe Hunt (d)

a. 01 Summertime (George Gershwin, Dubose Heyward)

b. 02 How Insensitive [aka Insensatez] (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius DeMoraes, Norman Gimbel)

c. 03 The Underdog (Al Cohn, Dave Frishberg)

d. 04 Broadway (Bill Bird, Teddy McRae, Henri Woode)

e. 05 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams, Bernie Hanighen)

f. 06 Billie's Bounce (Charlie Parker)

Private tape exists.

I have a cd of his playing in Sag Harbor but I promised the guy who gave it to me not to circulate it because McKusik had asked him not to.

You realize that now you'll have to watch over your shoulder and avoid dark alleys, don't you...

:cool:

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Posted

Hal McKusick also recorded several albums for the Music Minus One label including this one

442072.jpg

I mentioned this to Michael Fitzgerald a couple of years ago but those albums are still not included in his discography!

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