Some Tenor Sadness

After yesterday's Tenor Nostalgia, here is some Tenor Sadness as I hear about two excellent tenor players who have just passed away. 

Monday, April 7th saw Phil Urso, 82, passed away in Denver where he settled in the 1960s after having been part of the West Coast scene for a number of years, most notably with Chet Baker and his groups. 

Here are some interesting tributes about Urso and his legacy. 

Saxophonist Phil Urso RIP by David at the WFIU blog from NPR at Indiana Universuty and Remembering Phil Urso (1925-2008).by Ted Gioia at The last site includes a youtube file of a Chet Baker big band recording.

Earlier this week, on Sunday, Donald Walden, an influential tenor player in Detroit died after his battle with cancer. He was 69. He taught at the Michigan State University, Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, and eventually found his way to the University of Michigan.

You can read the obit from the Detroit Free Press here

Mark Stryker notes that "Walden followed his friends to New York in 1960, where he played with Grant Green, Joe Chambers, Booker Ervin and Sun Ra, but he returned home in 1966 for more opportunities to work. He played in Aretha Franklin's band for five years and toured widely with Stevie Wonder, the Temptations and Four Tops. He played jazz, too, of course, and eventually found security as a teacher."