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Illinois Jacquet
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Musician
    (October 31, 1922-July 22, 2004)
    Born in Broussard, Louisiana
    Birth name was Jean-Baptiste Illinois Jacquet
    Tenor saxophonist
    Performed with the bands of Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway and Count Basie
    Recorded the solo albums ‘Swing’s the Thing’ (1951), ‘Desert Winds’ (1964), ‘Illinois Flies Again’ (1966), ‘Go Power’ (1966), ‘Bottoms Up’ (1968), ‘How High The Moon’ (1968), ‘The King’ (1968), ‘Soul Explosion’ (1969), ‘Genius At Work’ (1971), ‘The Comeback’ (1971), ‘Blues from Louisiana’ (1973), ‘On Jacquet’s Street’ (1976), ‘Jacquet’s Got It!’ (1988), ‘His All-Star New York Band’ (1994), ‘Big Horn’ (1996), ‘Birthday Party’ (1999) and ‘The Man I Love’ (2002)
    Appeared in the films ‘Stormy Weather’ (1943) and ‘Jammin’ the Blues’ (1944)
    Best known for his solo on Lionel Hampton’s ‘Flying Home’ (1942)
    He began performing as a tap dancer at age three.
    He usually wore pork pie hats.
    Performing his solo on ‘Flying Home’ in concert was so exhausting that he quit Hampton’s band a year later.
    One critic said his honking solos ‘sounded like the death throes of a harpooned penguin.’
    He brought an extra sax so Bill Clinton could jam with him at the presidential inauguration (1993).
    His solo on ‘Flying Home’ was the birth of the honking sax that influenced early rock and R&B.
    He could also display a warm and sensitive tone on jazz ballads.
    He was a mainstay of the Jazz at the Philharmonic series of concerts (1944-59).
    He was the first jazz musician named an ‘artist in residence’ at Harvard (1983).
    He was featured soloist at the Lincoln Center’s commemoration of Duke Ellington’s 100th birthday (1999).

Credit: C. Fishel


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