|Birth: Fayetteville, NC, 7 June 1932
Professional Career: Sonny Thompson Band(1951), Lionel Hampton Band(1955),
Kenny Burrell Band(1959), Freddie Hubbard Quintet(1960), Jackie McClean Quintet(1960)
Selected Recordings: As leader: True Blue(1960) As a sideman:K. Burrell: On View at the Five Spot Cafe(1959), F. Hubbard: Open Sesame(1960)
Tenor saxophonist and composer. He started out playing the C-melody saxophone soon after his family moved to New York in 1944. His first professional experience began playing with pianist Sonny Thompson who led a rhythm-and-blues band whom he also recorded with in 1951. He then performed with Lionel Hampton in 1955 before focusing on freelance work. During this period of freelancing, he made important contacts such as Little Benny Harris who was instrumental in landing him a Blue Note recording contract in 1958. He went on to record 12 sessions for Blue Note (four as a leader) with such artists as Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Drew, Art Blakey, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Coles, McLean, Blue Mitchell, Jimmy Smith, and Bobby Thompson. His style of soloing included nice shapely phrases with a swing sensibility. His primary influences were Lester Young, Sonny Rollins, and the blues. He died of illness caused by drug abuse.