Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Illinois Jacquet Dies

Illinois Jacquet, a saxophonist in the broad and forceful “Texas tenor” style who recorded what is popularly considered the first R&B sax solo, and who played with big-band leaders Lionel Hampton and Count Basie, died Thurs., July 22 in New York City of heart failure. He was 81.

Besides being the major figure of the Texas-tenor school, which also included James Clay and Buddy Tate, Jacquet was responsible for two major developments in tenor playing. Building off brash, shouting sounds that had originally come from Lester Young’s saxophone, Jacquet further developed and popularized the “honking” method of playing, which might best be heard in Jacquet’s performances with producer Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic tour. Jacquet also discovered the tenor’s high-pitched altissimo range, which extended the instrument’s range by two and a half octaves.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published