Ray Warleigh

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Raymond "Ray" Kenneth Warleigh (28 September 1938 – 21 September 2015) was a UK-based alto saxophonist and flautist.

Ray Warleigh was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and migrated to England in 1960, where he quickly established himself as an in-demand session musician.[1][2]

He played and recorded with major figures and bands of the UK jazz and blues scene, including Alexis Korner, Tubby Hayes, Humphrey Lyttelton, Terry Smith, Ronnie Scott, Long John Baldry, John Mayall, Allan Holdsworth, Soft Machine, Georgie Fame, Mike Westbrook, Dick Morrissey and Kenny Wheeler, as well as Mike Oldfield, Nick Drake, and Charlie Watts. He accompanied visiting artists such as Champion Jack Dupree. According to John Fordham in The Guardian wrote: "Ray Warleigh brought a unique touch to every venture he played on from the 60s on, and had a successful 30-year career that partnered him with Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithfull, Scott Walker and Stevie Wonder, among others."[3]

Warleigh's first album, in 1968, was produced by Scott Walker.[4] Warleigh's last album, Rue Victor Massé (2009), is an improvisation with free-jazz drummer Tony Marsh,[3] has received critical acclaim. According to Jazz Review: "The duo’s synergy and common goals resound mightily here. Featuring Warleigh’s lyrically resplendent sax and flute lines, in concert with a crystalline audio sound, the musicians flex some muscle amid buoyant underpinnings."[5]

In 1971 he played sax and clarinet with the loosely connected UK folk group P. C. Kent.[citation needed]. In 1973 he joined Latin fusion band Paz, led by vibist and composer Dick Crouch. He featured with the band for 8 years playing a weekly Sunday residency at the Kensington pub in Holland Park, recording albums including Kandeen Love Song, Paz Are Back (Spotlite Records), Paz Live at Chichester Festival (Magnus Records) and Look Inside (Paladin Records). Other members of the band were Dick Crouch leader and vibes, Ed Speight on guitar, Geoff Castle on keyboards, Ron Mathewson on bass guitar, Dave Sheen on drums and Chris Fletcher on percussion.

In his leisure time Warleigh was an accomplished yachtsman, completing many voyages with his long-standing friend, Dr Gillian Ross, with whom he co-owned several boats, before serious illness struck in 2011. He died of cancer on 21 September 2015.[6]



  1. ^ Kelsey, Ken. Biography at allmusic Retrieved 7 May 2011
  2. ^ Williams, Richard (24 September 2015). "Ray Warleigh obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b John Fordham, "Ray Warleigh: Rue Victor Masse" (review), The Guardian, 17 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b John Eyles, All About Jazz, January 17, 2009.
  5. ^ Glenn Astarita, "Rue victor masse by Ray Warleigh", Jazz Review, 12 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Distinguished jazz musician Ray Warleigh played the world over". Sydeney Mrning Herald. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.