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Subject: ARCHIVE: June 5, 2003 ~CURTIS AMY, phenomenally talented and noted Jazz saxophonist whose stylings of Be-bop, soprano, and soul-jazz, collaborated with numerous luminaries, recording with Dizzy Gillespie in the 1950s, Bobby Hutchinson in the 1960s, and Carole King in the 1970s, notably in her biggest LP "Tapestry", recording with wife singer Merry Clayton. He was 72. ...

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Date Posted: Friday, June 05, 10:24:43pm

Curtis Amy
(October 11, 1929 June 5, 2002)

A native of Houston, Texas, Amy was a talented saxophonist who could play styles of Be-bop, soprano, and soul-jazz. At a young age, he became interested in music and he began playing the clarinet, before moving onto the tenor sax. Educated in music at the Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky, he earned his Bachelor's Degree, and began teaching school in Tennessee. A veteran of World War II, Amy also served in the United States Army, by the late 1940s, he became more involved in music, but also worked as a postman on the side, and later joined the army. He also became involved in working in clubs in the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles, California, in the mid 1950s.

In 1955, he began recording with Dizzy Gillespie, and Onzy Matthews and Roy Ayers in the 1960s. He also performed and recorded with Gerald Wilson
from 1960 to 1966, and led his own jazz bands that featured Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Owens, Kenny Barron, and Victor Feldman, among others. ...

Amy also recorded with the group, Pacific Jazz and Verve. Two of his best music projects are his appearance on Carole King's single, "It's Too Late",
from her album entitled, "Tapestry", and his last solo project entitled "Peace For Love" in 1994, an album that featured, his wife, Merry Clayton on vocals.

...Other recordings by Amy include, "Very Frank", "Native Land", "Lonely Woman", "Set Call", "For Ayers Only", "Lisa", "Liberia", "Annsome", "Peace For Love", and "Slam." As well as leading his own bands and recording albums under his own name, Amy also did session work and played the solos on several recordings, including The Doors song "Touch Me", and Lou Rawls' first albums, Black and Blue and Tobacco Road, coinciding with Dexter Gordon in the Onzy Matthews big band, as well as working with Marvin Gaye, Tammy Terrell and Smokey Robinson.

Up until his death he was married to singer and recording artist Merry Clayton. Curtis Amy passed away
from complications of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72, and was buried at Inglewood Cemetery, in Inglewood, CA.

Links ...

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