Bill Perkins (saxophonist)

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Bill Perkins
Birth nameWilliam Reese Perkins
Born(1924-07-22)July 22, 1924
San Francisco, California, U.S.
DiedAugust 10, 2003(2003-08-10) (aged 79)
Sherman Oaks, California
GenresCool jazz
Years active1944–2003
LabelsPacific Jazz
Associated acts

William Reese Perkins ((1924-07-22)July 22, 1924 – (2003-08-10)August 10, 2003) was a cool jazz saxophonist and flutist popular on the West Coast jazz scene, known primarily as a tenor saxophonist.[1] Born in San Francisco, California, Perkins started out performing in the big bands of Woody Herman and Jerry Wald. He also worked for the Stan Kenton orchestra, which led to his entry into the cool jazz idiom. He began performing with Art Pepper and Bud Shank. He was also a member of The Tonight Show Band from 1970–1992. He is probably most remembered, however, for playing tenor for The Lighthouse All-Stars. When gigs became scarce in the 1960s, Perkins had a parallel career as a recording engineer.[2]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Chet Baker

With Louis Bellson

With Nat King Cole

With Clifford Coulter

With Clare Fischer

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Stan Kenton

With Barney Kessel

With Carmen McRae

With Art Pepper and Conte Candoli

With André Previn

With Shorty Rogers

With Pete Rugolo

With Lalo Schifrin

With Bud Shank

With Gerald Wilson


  1. ^ Thurber, Jon (12 August 2003). "Bill Perkins, 79; Saxophonist Who Played With Kenton, Herman Bands Was Key Figure in Jazz". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Bill Perkins Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-06-24.