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Great Ellington tenor manCopyright © 2003
Russ Dantzler writes:
I'm sorry to report the loss of the great Duke Ellington tenor man Harold Ashby. Harold passed away at St Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York City at 6:05am Friday, June 13, following complications of a heart attack at the end of May. Harold was born in Kansas City, Missouri, March 27, 1925.
Harold Kenneth Ashby worked in blues and jazz bands in Kansas City and Chicago before moving to New York in 1957. He joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra as a full-time member in 1968, but ha played often as a deputy with the band.
He took the seat vacated by clarinettist Jimmy Hamilton, but played mainly tenor, and remained with the band until February 1975 (latterly under Mercer Ellington). He worked as a freelance thereafter, and took part in various reunions of Ellington alumni, as well as recording and gigging with his own bands.
JJA members are invited to submit a full obituary or appreciation.