[JPL] This just in, veteran saxist Phil Urso has died :<(

Arturo arturo893 at qwest.net
Mon Apr 7 12:29:08 EDT 2008


Veteran saxist Philip "Phil" Urso
Born: Oct 02, 1925 in Jersey City, New Jersey
Died: April 7th, 2008, Denver CO


Subtlety and restraint defined the playing of Phil Urso, a member of the
1950s' cool school who owed a strong artistic debt to Lester "Pres" Young
but never came across as a clone of him. Urso started out on clarinet, but
the tenor sax became his primary instrument after he studied it in high
school. Though not that well-known, Urso was a solid and expressive jazzman
who played with Woody Herman, Jimmy Dorsey, Miles Davis, Terry Gibbs, Oscar
Pettiford and others in the 1950s. In 1954, he co-led a quintet with
trombonist Bob Brookmeyer that recorded for Savoy, but Urso's best-known
association came in 1955 and 1956, when he was a sideman for Chet Baker.
Urso was prominently featured on some of the trumpeter's Pacific Jazz
recordings of 1956, which make one wish he had become more visible instead
of less so. But after the '50s, very little was heard about Urso on a
national level, although he did remain active in the jazz scene of his
adopted home of Denver well into the 1990s. Phil recorded an album with Carl
Saunders "Salute Chet Baker" for Colorado's own Jazzed Media label a few
years ago. Phil was part of the all-star big band that was part of the
performoing artists that played for jazz89KUVO's 20th Anniversary Concert in
2005 that was headlined by Marian McPartland. Urso had been ill for the past
year.

More details soon.......



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