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Jacquet to be Honored in NYC

If Illinois Jacquet isn’t the number one coolest name in jazz, it’s at least in the top ten. Only Thelonious Monk and Django Reinhardt come to mind as possible contenders for first place. And like Monk and Reinhardt, Jacquet was a musical innovator, recording what is considered to be the first R&B sax solo on the 1942 track “Flying Home.” And who doesn’t like listening to the man wail all over those Jazz at the Philharmonic sides recorded in the ’50s?

Born Oct. 31, 1922, Jacquet turns 80 this year and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proclaiming the day Illinois Jacquet Day in the City of New York. That the date also holds traditional significance as the day kids dress up like ghouls and ask for tricks or treats must make no difference to the mayor. Ghosts and goblins can share their holiday because New York really loves jazz.

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