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Nathen Page Dies

Nathen Page, a guitarist who worked with Jimmy Smith and Sonny Rollins, died March 8 after battling cancer for several months. He was 65.

Born August 23, 1937 in Leetown, W.V., Page began playing guitar at age seven. He was self-taught on the instrument and didn’t hear jazz until he joined the Army. Both of those facts account, at least in part, for his unique and unorthodox playing style. Following his discharge from the Army he moved to Washington, D.C. and immersed himself in the local music scene, playing mostly in rock bands. In 1965 he replaced Quentin Warren in Jimmy Smith’s band. He toured the U.S. and Europe with the organist and played on The Boss (Verve, 1969) before leaving the group in 1970. Page worked with Herbie Mann, Roberta Flack and Jackie McLean in the early ’70s, and played frequently with Sonny Rollins in the second half of the decade. He also recorded with Kenny Barron, Rene McLean and Charles Tolliver.

In 1980 Page settled in Orlando, Fla., founded a label, Hugo’s Music, and released 10 albums as a leader, one of which features him playing solo piano. He also led a local jazz quartet, hosted a radio program and did local concert promotion.

Page is survived by his wife, Ginny.

Originally Published