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Soft Machine’s Elton Dean Dies

British jazz saxophonist Elton Dean died Feb. 7 in a London hospital at age 60. He had been suffering heart and liver problems over the past year. His death was unexpected and Dean had several concerts planned with his current band, Soft Machine Legacy, in support of their new DVD.

Born Oct. 28, 1945 in Nottingham, England, Dean grew up in south London and took lessons on both piano and violin as a child. While neither instrument particularly appealed to him, Dean enjoyed listening to jazz and bought a second-hand clarinet when he was 18. He began sitting in with local trad bands and soon switched to tenor saxophone.

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