Thursday, June 9, 2011

R.I.P.: Alan Rubin (1943-2011)

Very sad news. Alan Rubin, an unsung hero among the best session players in NY for several decades, passed away on June 8 at age 68. He recorded the most sampled trumpet solo ever, originally done for Dom Um Romao's "Escravos de Jo" (a track from the "Hotmosphere" album for Pablo in 1976) and later on remixed and/or sampled by several top acts and DJs (like Joe Claussell & Kerri Chandler) of the hip-hop generation, during the acid jazz dancefloor heyday in the '90s. I'm listening to the original track right now to celebrate Alan Rubin's immortal talent. Oddly, but not surprisingly, he never recorded as a leader...RIP.Rubin's discography is quite impressive. He took part in hundreds of albums, and became of one of the most-in-demmand trumpeters in New York's ultra-busy studio scene of the '70s. A favorite of producer Creed Taylor, Rubin appeared in dozens of CTI/Kudu albums by such artists as George Benson, Johnny Hammond, Jackie & Roy, Hubert Laws, Airto Moreira, Freddie Hubbard (on the horn section of "Sky Dive," Hubbard's best-selling project for CTI; I know most people think that was "Red Clay," but "Sky Dive" sold much more), Don Sebesky, Bob James, Hank Crawford, Ron Carter, Esther Phillips, Randy Weston, B.C. & M. Choir, David Matthews and Grover Washington, Jr.

He also did many dates (from jazz to rock, from pop to disco) with James Taylor, Lena Horne, Gato Barbieri, Jorge Dalto, Duke Ellington,Luiz Bonfá, Janis Ian, Ringo Starr, Lou Reed, Manhattan Transfer, Gloria Gaynor, Frankie Valli, Lonnie Smith, Michel Legrand, Jimmy McGriff, Herbie Mann, the Brecker Brothers, Eric Gale, John Tropea, Joe Farrell, Paul Mauriat, Harold Vick, Cissy Houston, David Spinozza, Deodato, Stanley Turrentine, Tina Turner, Jan Akkerman, Robben Ford, Ashford & Simpson, Mike Mandel, Spyro Gyra, Aretha Franklin, Gerry Mulligan, Luther Vandross, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Mike Gibbs, Maynard Ferguson, Donald Fagen, Sinéad O'Connor, Blood Sweat & Tears, Phoebe Snow, Raimundo Fagner, Bob Belden, Marvin Stamm, Freddy Cole, Dr. John, Stanley Clarke, Bob Mintzer, the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, and, last but not least, The Blues Boothers and Frank Sinatra. He can be seen on the LaserDisc/VHS "The Best of Everything - Portrait of an Album" (not yet reissued on DVD), a making-of documentary of the Sinatra/Quincy Jones collaboration on the "LA Is My Lady" sessions.

Alan Rubin (February 11, 1943-June 8, 2011), also known as Mr. Fabulous, was an American musician. He played trumpet, flugelhorn, and piccolo trumpet.

Rubin was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. He was a member of the Saturday Night Live Band, with whom he played at the Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games. As a member of The Blues Brothers, he portrayed Mr. Fabulous in the 1980 film, the 1998 sequel and was a member of the touring band.

Rubin played with an array of artists, such as Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Duke Ellington, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Eumir Deodato, Sting, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Frankie Valli, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Miles Davis, Yoko Ono, Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles and Dr. John.


lastsongster said...

I am so sad to hear of Alan's death. I noticed his name on so many albums, especially CTI jazz. Wondered why he didn't ever get to be a leader on even one session, but hey, he hasn't gone unrecognised. Keep blowin' Alan, wherever you are.

Chromboy said...

Excellent write up, his first gig in NY was lead Trumpet for Robert Goulet.....his Mom was so proud!

I worked with Alan about 10 yrs on the road with the Original Blues Brothers band....a wonderful man and talent!