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date: 17 October 2019

Ashby, Harold (Kenneth )locked

  • Eddie Lambert
  • , revised by Barry Kernfeld


(Kenneth )

(b Kansas City, MO, March 27, 1925; d Manhattan, June 13, 2003). American tenor saxophonist. He took up clarinet and then alto saxophone as a teenager, but ceased playing while serving in the navy (1943–5). From 1946 he worked with Tommy Douglas and the singer Walter Brown in Kansas City (first recording with Brown in 1949), then in the early 1950s moved to Chicago, where he played with a number of blues bands. In 1957 he went to New York and performed with Milt Larkin and Mercer Ellington; he also deputized occasionally for Duke Ellington. He recorded with Ben Webster (1958), Johnny Hodges (1960), Paul Gonsalves (1961), and Lawrence Brown (1965). In July 1968 he became a regular member of Duke Ellington’s orchestra and, although he replaced the clarinet virtuoso Jimmy Hamilton, continued to be principal tenor saxophone soloist, taking up clarinet for ensemble parts only. Ashby remained with the band until ...

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