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Paul Moen: 1953-2004
Paul Moen

Born: 1953 in Bremerton, WA
Died: October 10, 2004 in Bremerton, WA

Saxophonist, arranger for Rich, Hampton

by Todd S. Jenkins
Copyright © 2004 Todd S. Jenkins

Saxophonist and arranger Paul Moen died of heart failure at his home in Bremerton, Washington, on October 10, 2004. "Jazzmo", as he was known to friends, was 51 years old.

Moen grew up in Bremerton, attending West High School and Olympic College where music consumed the bulk of his time. Moen gigged around Seattle for a while before attending Berklee on a Quincy Jones scholarship. He worked with vibraphonist Bobby Paunetto in the mid-1970s, and played alto and soprano saxes and flute on "13 3/4", a pair of extended works by Michael Mantler and Carla Bley.

In the late 1970s and 1980s Moen's principal gigs were with Lionel Hampton, for whom he played tenor sax and wrote arrangements, and the Buddy Rich big band, where he shared tenor duties with Steve Marcus on many national tours. His composition "Latin Silk" became a staple of the Rich band book. Moen also worked with the likes of Ray Mantilla, Dizzy Gillespie and Cab Calloway into the 1990s, at which time he returned to Bremerton to take care of his elderly parents.

Todd S. Jenkins
Todd S. Jenkins is a member of the JJA, author of Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2004) and I Know What I Know: The Music of Charles Mingus (Praeger, 2006), and a contributor to Down Beat, All About Jazz, American Songwriter and Route 66 Magazine.


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