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    Niewood, Gerry (6 April 1943 – 12 February 2009)

    Composer and multi-reed instrumentalist from Rochester, New York, who was a friend of Chuck Mangione from childhood and played with him in bands throughout their teens and beyond.  They both attended the Eastman School of Music and Gerry graduated in 1970.  He passed along his knowledge to students at Denonville Middle School and Penfield High School.  After his own education was complete, he joined the Chuck Mangione Quartet and appeared on their self-titled album in 1972. 

     

    He was a multiple threat in the studios because he could play so many instruments—alto flute, alto sax, baritone sax, bass flute, clarinet, flute, piccolo, and tenor sax—although his signature instrument was the soprano sax.  A good example of his craftsmanship can be heard on “Legend of the One-Eyed Sailor”, which appears on Chuck’s album, Land of Make Believe.  In 1976, Gerry moved to The Big Apple and embarked on a career as a session musician. 

     

    Artists and groups with whom he worked comprise Steve Brown, Judy Collins, Gil Evans, Astrud Gilberto, Peggy Lee, Mark Murphy, Anne Murray, Sinead O’Connor, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, Dave Samuels, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, and the Sunday Morning Jazz Band. 

     

    He also released albums under his own name, such as Alone, Facets, Gerry Niewood and Timepiece, Share My Dream, and Slow Hot Wind. 

     

    On the big screen, his saxophone stylings could be heard on the soundtracks of Annie, A Bronx Tale, King of Comedy, National Lampoon Goes to the Movies, Shining Through, and When Harry Met Sally… 

     

    On 12th February 2009, en route to Buffalo from Newark, he was killed in a plane crash along with band-mate Coleman Mellett and approximately fifty others.  He was only 65 years old.  A myspace tribute page is listed below.

     

    The Spinners recordings

    Disco Ride (Jolyon Skinner/Eltesa Weatherby/Michael Zager)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Niewood
    2. http://www.myspace.com/gerryniewood
    3. http://www.answers.com/topic/gerry-niewood
    4. http://www.mahalo.com/gerry-niewood

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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