Tenor saxophonist Pat Crumly remains best remembered for his long stint at the helm of the Ronnie Scott's Legacy Band, earning acclaim for an inventive, lyrical sound eminently worthy of the legendary jazzman whose group he now led. Born in Oxford, England on February 9, 1942, Crumly first studied clarinet at age 14, adding alto saxophone to his arsenal two years later. During his time at Oxford University, he also became proficient on soprano and tenor while leading a student jazz group that regularly backed the headliner soloists who performed on campus. From 1971 to 1975 Crumly hosted a jazz program on BBC Radio Oxford, concurrently leading his own group, Edge -- for a time he replaced tenorist Don Rendell in John Dankworth's band, and even taught at Dankworth's Buckinghamshire summer school. Crumly achieved new visibility upon relocating to London in 1979, and over the next few years he toured in support of pop singers like Jack Jones and Cleo Laine. He also served an extended stint in the orchestra of the West End stage production of the Who's Tommy, and in 1981 spent three months playing at the infamous South African resort Sun City. Crumly toured behind a latter-day incarnation of British Invasion legends the Animals in 1983, returning to the road behind their frontman Eric Burdon the following year. Soon after he formed his own fusion unit, Strata, which toured Cuba in 1987. An Arts Council grant enabled Crumly to compose and record a suite for sextet titled Third World Sketches, and in 1992 he released Behind the Mask, trailed two years later by Flamingo. By this time Crumly was also a frequent headliner at saxophonist Ronnie Scott's famed London jazz club, and was such a favorite of Scott himself that he was regularly spotted in the audience at Crumly's performances. When Scott died in late 1996, Crumly was asked to assume saxophone duties in the quartet that was renamed the Ronnie Scott's Legacy Band. In addition to residencies at Scott's club, the group regularly headlined London's 606 Club and in 2006 toured Athens, Crumly also freelanced, touring Beirut and Kurdistan behind Iraqi singer Ilham Al Madfai, and taught music. He died while on vacation in Tropea, Italy on September 28, 2008.
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