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Saxophonist Steve Marcus Dies

Saxophonist Steve Marcus died in his sleep at his home in New Hope, Pa. on Sept. 25 at age 66, family members said. The saxophonist is most know for his work touring and recording with Stan Kenton, Herbie Mann and Buddy Rich and was an influential jazz fusion pioneer in the late 1960s.

Born on Sept. 18, 1939 in New York City, Marcus played both tenor and soprano saxophone and ended up studying at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He played with Kenton in 1963 and then recorded with Gary Burton in 1966. He also had stints with Mann from 1967-1970 and Woody Herman before leading his own early fusion group, the Count’s Rock Band.

He began gaining national attention in 1971 when he began playing with Larry Coryell’s 11th House. He continued with Coryell’s group until 1973, and following that, joined Buddy Rich’s Orchestra, where he was a star soloist up until Rich’s death in 1987.

Marcus released six albums as leader, on the Vortex, Flying Dutchman and Red Baron labels. His most recent effort, Smile came out in 1993.

Before his death, Marcus had been touring with the quintet Steve Smith and Buddy’s Buddies, a tribute band to Rich’s music.

Marcus is survived by his wife, Eleanor, and his daughter, Holly.

Originally Published