Sunday, October 7, 2007

R.I.P..: Mike Osborne

The British saxophonist Mike Osborne died September 19th at the age of 65 from lung cancer. He had ceased performing in 1982 being handicapped by paranoid schizophrenia. Osborne had come to London at the age of 18 to study clarinet and soon after joined the first band of pianist Mike Westbrook. He played with John Surman, in Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath and with Harry Miller's band Isipingo and recorded under his own name. With Surman and Alan Skidmore he played in a trio (SOS) which preceded similar saxophone ensembles such as the World Saxophone Quartet or ROVA. Mike, who often topped the Melody Maker jazz poll as best alto sax player, also played with Stan Tracey and his regarded by many as British's best saxophonist ever. Obituary: Guardian , The Independent .

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