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Manny Albam Dies at 79

Manny Albam, who did much to shape the sound of jazz in the 1950s and 1960s as a composer and arranger, died of cancer on Oct. 2 at his home in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. He was 79.

Albam was born on June 4, 1922 in the Dominican Republic; his family emigrated to New York City when he was 6. He began playing alto saxophone while attending Stuyvesant High School, and got his first professional gig (with the Don Joseph Quintet) before he graduated. Switching to baritone, he had a series of band jobs before entering the U.S. Army for two years in 1945. Upon his discharge, he toured with the big bands of Jerry Wald, Sam Donohue, and Charlie Barnet as an arranger and performer. He eventually quit Barnet’s band in 1950, devoting himself full-time to freelancing as an arranger and composer.

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