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Hal McKusick

A fine cool-toned altoist and an occasional clarinetist, Hal McKusick worked with the big bands of Les Brown, Woody Herman (1943), Boyd Raeburn (1944-1945), Alvino Rey (1946), Buddy Rich, and Claude Thornhill (1948-1949). In the 1950s, in addition to his work with Terry Gibbs and Elliot Lawrence, he was a busy and versatile studio musician. During 1955-1958, McKusick recorded nine albums of material as a leader for Jubilee, Bethlehem, Victor, Coral, New Jazz, Prestige, and Decca. Those small-group recordings, although basically cool bop, sometimes used very advanced arrangements, including charts by George Handy, Manny Albam, Gil Evans, Al Cohn, Jimmy Giuffre, and particularly George Russell. Hal McKusick died in April 2012 at the age of 87. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Complete Barry Galbraith, Milt Hinton And Osie Johnson Recordings

x

Track List: Triple Exposure

1. Interim

2. Saturday Night

3. Don't Worry 'Bout Me

4. Con Alma

5. Something New

6. Blues Half-Smiling

7. A Touch Of Spring

8. The Settlers And The Indians

9. I'm Glad There Is You

x

Track List: The Jazz Workshop

1. Tommy Hawk

2. Lydian Lullaby

3. Blues For Pablo

4. Just Leave It Alone

5. Miss Clara

6. Alto Cumulus

7. The Day John Brown Was Hanged

8. One Score And Eight Horns Ago

9. Ain't Nothin' But A Memory Now

10. Jambangle

11. The Blues Train

Comments

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Wonderful, relaxes, non-frantic and a Desmond like sound - Little similarity to light tones airy music. Robert E. Hawkins Public School 45
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Very, very cool true unadulterate d sound. Spot on...
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Michael A. Missiras, Ph.D.
Trumpet/Corn e t / C o m p o s e r
NYC/ arctic1974@g m a i l . c o m

A very "west coast" sound. But in in the traditional thought of lite toned airy music. More in the vein of a Hollywood film score.
Report as inappropriate
Michael A. Missiras, Ph.D.
Trumpet/Corn e t / C o m p o s e r
NYC/ arctic1974@g m a i l . c o m

An unsung hero of the alto sax and clarinet who made some important contribution s to Jazz but also made wise career choices winding up ad an LA studio musician on the heels of being a west coast jazz musician.
Report as inappropriate
Michael Missiras
Trumpet/Corn e t / C o m p o s e r
NYC/ arctic1974@g m a i l . c o m

A consummate West Coast saxophonist who wisely wound up in the Studios of LA. His influences are clear, but he is very much his own man.
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poppa_bear49
So smooth...his sound is so complete...b e a u t i f u l ! ! !
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mreabrown
Super smooth.
Report as inappropriate
sounds like a cross between Art Pepper and Paul Desmond...gr e a t player in his own right.
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful
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Beautiful sound....gre a t album, many thanks!
Report as inappropriate
Aah how sweet it is. True unadulterate d jazz at it's truest form. Where has it gone.
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jbfiddler
How worry I am that I missed him during my youth! How much wonderful music we have, everyday!
Report as inappropriate
To exude a fine and full tone across the choruses and not be overly flamboyant. These are those artists!
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patedk
His tone sounds very much like Paul Desmond.
Jazz and studio work. A great life!
Report as inappropriate
What a marvelous sound.
Report as inappropriate
beautiful tone, really swinging alto, wonderful to listen to
Report as inappropriate
the measure of the musician lies in whether he is able to convey 'it' to an audience...i n as much as improvisatio n and swing define jazz music,it don't mean a thing if it don't convey a thing! We need of a revival of this man's music...he reaches your soul---

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