Dean Benedetti

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Dean Benedetti 1.jpg
Jazz player Dean Benedetti tomb in Torre del Lago (Italy)

Dean Benedetti was a saxophone player best known for his recordings of fellow saxophonist Charlie Parker. As a tenor saxophonist and band leader in California, Benedetti first heard a record of Parker in the Spring of 1945. Deeply influenced by the player, Benedetti began to study Parker, transcribing solos, building them into set pieces, and working bop into his own playing.

A two week engagement at LA's Hi-De-Ho Club in early 1947, done on discs, was the start of Benedetti's recordings. In 1948, Benedetti headed to New York with bandmate Jimmy Knepper, and recorded Charlie Parker on March 31, and July 7, both of these on a Sears tape recorder.

While in New York, Benedetti began to use heroin. Unable to break into the New York music scene, he returned to his parents home in California in 1948. Trying to finance their way back home, Benedetti and Knepper attempt to sell drugs. However, Knepper took the drugs with him back to LA and abandoned Benedetti in New York.

Shortly after returning to California, Benedetti discovered he had a rare muscle disease, Myasthenia Gravis. The disease affected his playing, and he soon quit performing in public. The disease ruined his health, and in 1953 he moved in with his parents in Italy. He died on January 20, 1957, at the age of 34.

The recordings he made of Parker were something of a jazz legend, until 1988 when these tapes and acetate discs were sold by his brother, Rick Benedetti, to Mosaic Records. The Complete Dean Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker box was released by Mosaic Records in 1990.

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