Hal McKusick

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Hal McKusick (1 June 1924 – 11 April 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. McKusick also released albums under his own leadership, including a 1957 album for Prestige titled Triple Exposure.

At that time he made many recordings with groups led by George Russell[1] and Jimmy Giuffre. A fine example of his solo playing can be heard on All About Rosie, the lead track on the suite for orchestra featuring Bill Evans (written by George Russell and conducted by Gunther Schuller), recorded live at the Brandeis Jazz Festival in 1957.

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 other prominent jazz musicians including Lee Konitz and John Coltrane.

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]

As sideman[edit]

With Manny Albam

With Kenny Burrell

With Al Cohn

With Benny Golson

With Coleman Hawkins

With Woody Herman

  • Songs for Hip Lovers (Verve, 1957)

With Lee Konitz and Jimmy Giuffre

With Gil Melle

With Helen Merrill

With Charlie Parker

With Jackie Paris

With George Russell

With Dinah Washington with Quincy Jones and His Orchestra


  1. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Hal McKusick: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  2. ^ Colleen Reynolds (2012-04-13). "Hal McKusick, Prominent Jazz Musician And Ross School Teacher, Dies at 87". East Hampton Press. Retrieved 2012-04-14.

External links[edit]