Paul Quinichette

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Paul Quinichette
Born(1916-05-17)May 17, 1916
Denver, Colorado, United States
DiedMay 25, 1983(1983-05-25) (aged 67)
New York City, New York
InstrumentsTenor saxophone

Paul Quinichette (May 17, 1916 – May 25, 1983) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He was known as the "Vice President" or "Vice Prez" for his emulation of the breathy style of Lester Young, whose nickname was "The President", or simply "Prez". Young called Quinichette "Lady Q".[1]

Early life[edit]

Quinichette was born in Denver, Colorado, on May 17, 1916.[2] He had clarinet and alto saxophone lessons as a child, before switching to tenor saxophone.[2] Around the age of 13, he had informal lessons from Lester Young.[2] Quinichette "attended Denver University, transferred to Tennessee State College, and then returned to Denver University, from which he graduated in music. While in college he played with local bands, and during summer vacations he toured with Nat Towles and the trumpeter Lloyd Hunter."[2]

Later life and career[edit]

Quinichette worked with Shorty Sherock in the late 1930s, and was then with Ernie Fields (1942), and Jay McShann (1942–43).[2] He was with Johnny Otis on the West Coast from 1945 to 1947, then went to New York with Louis Jordan in 1947.[3] In New York he played with various musicians before joining Count Basie in 1951.[2] After two years with Basie, and buoyed by the success of his own recordings for EmArcy Records, Quinichette left to form his own band.[2]

In the mid- to late 1950s Quinichette also accompanied vocalist Dinah Washington on EmArcy recordings, and played with Benny Goodman and Nat Pierce (both 1955), John Coltrane (1957), and Billie Holiday.[2] In the following decade poor health hindered his activities as a musician, and he took work as an electrical engineer.[2] Although still restricted, he resumed performing in 1973."[2] Quinichette died in New York City on May 25, 1983.[2]

Playing style[edit]

Grove comments that "Quinichette's style displayed a sense of swing unequaled among those musicians who followed Young."[2] Writing in 1959, critic John S. Wilson stated that, after leaving Basie, "Quinichette has inclined to a coarseness of tone and ideas and an attack that stems as much from the less palatable side of Illinois Jacquet as it does from Young."[4]


As sideman[edit]

With Gene Ammons

With Count Basie

With Bob Brookmeyer

With Billie Holiday

With Jay McShann

With The Prestige All Stars

With Sarah Vaughan

With Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson

With Mal Waldron

With Dinah Washington

With Webster Young

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jazz Legends: Paul Quinichette". Archived from the original on October 8, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Lambert, Eddie (2003). "Quinichette, Paul [Vice Pres]". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J367200. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Paul Quinichette". AllMusic. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  4. ^ Wilson, John S. (1959). The Collector's Jazz: Modern. J. B. Lippincott. p. 241.

External links[edit]