Six Videos of Hal McKusick

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Hal McKusick
Before he died in 2012 at 87, Hal McKusick was one of JazzWax's biggest fans and a dear friend. We spoke almost weekly about historical jazz events and recordings sessions Hal was on. Many of our conversations were captured in my JazzWax posts. Hal was an educator and always available, and he was loaded with stories and insights. Naturally, his passing was devastating. His encouragement was fantastic and his cool and phrasing were entertaining in and of itself.

Hal was one of my earliest JazzWax interviews. I believe baritone saxophonist Danny Bank was my first. I had much more time between 2007 and 2010, so I simply decided to track down jazz musicians I admired on my records and interview them about growing up and their recording careers, which was and continues to be the thrust of this blog.

I was thinking of Hal recently. Here are a handful of videos of Hal in action so you can get to know him, too. Here's Hal McKusick playing John Coltrane's The Wise One...



Here's a video tribute to Hal after his passing by the Ross School in East Hampton, N.Y., where Hal taught for many years...



Here's a video that Ross School student Alexandra Fairweather made of Hal in 2009...



Here's Home Town Blues in 2007 in Sag Harbor, N.Y....



Here's Hal on alto sax in 1956 on his album Jazz at the Academy playing Irresistible You with Barry Galbraith (g), Milt Hinton (b) and Osie Johnson (d)...



And here's Hal on alto and bass clarinet at his peak in 1958 on his album Cross Section-Saxophones playing La Rue with Dick Hafer and Frank Socolow (tenor sax), Jay Cameron (baritone sax), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Connie Kay (drums)...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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