Hal McKusick

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Hal McKusick (June 1, 1924 – April 11, 2012) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist who worked with Boyd Raeburn from 1944 to 1945 and Claude Thornhill from 1948 to 1949.[1]


McKusick was born in Medford, Massachusetts. In the early 1950s he worked with Terry Gibbs and Don Elliott. He recorded albums as a leader, including Triple Exposure (Prestige, 1957). At that time he made many recordings with groups led by George Russell.[1]

In 1958, Hal McKusick led a small group with Bill Evans that recorded Cross Section - Saxes which included contributions from Art Farmer, Paul Chambers, Connie Kay, and Barry Galbraith. For this album, McKusick commissioned arrangements from George Handy, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell and Ernie Wilkins. He also worked on sessions with Lee Konitz and John Coltrane. In 1960, he starred in the Edward Albee one-act play The Sandbox. In his later years, he taught at the Ross School in East Hampton, New York.

On April 11, 2012, McKusick died of natural causes at the age of 87.[2]


As leader[edit]

  • East Coast Jazz Series No. 8 (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • In a Twentieth-Century Drawing Room (RCA Victor, 1956)
  • Hal McKusick Quintet Featuring Art Farmer (Coral, 1957)
  • Jazz at the Academy (Coral, 1957)
  • The Jazz Workshop (RCA Victor, 1957)
  • Triple Exposure (Prestige, 1957)
  • Cross Section Saxes (Decca, 1958)
  • Sax Duets (Music Minus One, 1977)
  • 17 Jazz Duets for Two Flutes (Music Minus One, 1977)
  • Hal McKusick Plays/Betty St. Claire Sings (Fresh Sound, 1989)

As sideman[edit]

With Don Elliott

  • Don Elliott Sings (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • Mellophone (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • The Mello Sound (Decca, 1958)
  • Music for the Sensational Sixties (Design, 1958)
  • Love Is a Necessary Evil (Columbia, 1962)

With Elliot Lawrence

  • Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements (Fantasy, 1956)
  • Plays Tiny Kahn and Johnny Mandel Arrangements (Fantasy, 1956)
  • Swinging at the Steel Pier (Vogue, 1956)
  • Big Band Modern (Jazztone, 1957)

With George Russell

With others


  1. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Hal McKusick". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Hal McKusick, Prominent Jazz Musician And Ross School Teacher, Dies at 87". 27 East. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2020.

External links[edit]