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Saxophonist Curtis Amy Dies

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Curtis Amy, who was busy on the soul-jazz and hard-bop scenes during the 1960s, passed away on June 12 in Los Angeles. He was 72.

Amy began playing clarinet as a child and started on tenor in an army band. After studying music education at Kentucky State College, Amy taught for a brief while in Tennessee and played in clubs throughout the Midwest and finally moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s. The saxophonist recorded and performed with such jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Ayers and led bands that featured Bobby Hutcherson, Victor Feldman and Kenny Barron. He recorded several albums for Pacific Jazz and Verve, including Katanga! (Pacific, 1963) and Mustang (Verve, 1967). He also appears on several albums by the Doors, including The Soft Parade (Elektra, 1969) and L.A. Woman (Elektra, 1971).

After his busy music career Amy became an actor later in life.

Amy is survived by his wife, singer Merry Clayton. Funeral services were held Sat., June 15 at the Angeles Funeral Home in Los Angeles.

Originally Published