Tenor saxophonist Wilbur Brown was known for his emotional yet melodic playing style, having worked throughout the years with such renowned artists as Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Hank Crawford, and Woody Herman, among others. Born in Los Angeles, CA, sometime during 1932, Brown first picked up the saxophone at the age of eight. Although mostly self-taught, Brown would later study with trombonist Lloyd Reese, who previously taught the likes of Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, and Buddy Collette. By the time of high school, Brown was bitten by the bebop bug, leading to his playing with such blues and R&B artists as Joe Liggins and Roy Milton when he was only 15. By the early '60s, Brown had grown tired of the Los Angeles music scene and relocated to New York City. Brown remained in his newly adopted hometown for the next ten years, during which time he played alongside such jazz greats as pianist Red Garland, among others. After moving back to the West Coast, Brown led a quintet with alto saxman Pat Britt, which played regularly at the Hollywood club the Cat and Fiddle. Brown succumbed to pancreatic cancer on May 7, 2000, in Los Angeles, at the age of 68.
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