Multi-instrumentalist born in Brooklyn, New York, who attended the Manhattan School of Music and arranged and wrote several jingles for high-profile clients such as Burger King, Coke, Folgers, Ford, and Pepsi.
He was also an invaluable session arranger, conductor, musician, and orchestrator. In 1972, he orchestrated some of the material on The First of Felix Harp. He arranged “Breakaway” by Millie Jackson and “Candy Clown” by Ray Godfrey and multi-tasked on alto flute, baritone sax, bass flute, soprano sax and tenor sax on Music for Soulful Lovers by The Cecil Holmes Soulful Sounds in 1973. In 1974, he arranged Doctor’s Orders and A Hurricane is Coming Tonite by Carol Douglas, was in the woodwinds section for Live at the Winter Garden by Liza Minnelli, played baritone sax on A Story by Yoko Ono, and was in the horns section for The Second Coming by Jerry Lacroix. He arranged The Carol Douglas Album, Never Can Say Goodbye and Reach Out, I’ll Be There by Gloria Gaynor, and was in the reeds section for Tropea by John Tropea in 1975.
In 1976, he is curiously credited with trumpet on Van McCoy’s Rhythms of the World: More likely are his baritone sax credit on Jimmy McGriff’s The Mean Machine and his arranging credit on Simon Said’s “You and Me (Just Like in the Movies)”. He played baritone sax on Benny and Us by the Average White Band and Ben E. King and English horn on Short Trip to Space by John Tropea and arranged “Who’s Watching the Baby (Margie)” by R.B. Greaves in 1977. In 1978, he blew baritone sax on Herbie Mann’s Brazil – Once Again and arranged Jimmy McGriff’s Outside Looking In, co-writing the title track and “Playland” with Brad Baker and Lance Quinn. He arranged Krystal’s “Go with the Feeling” and was credited with flutes on Spyro Gyra’s Morning Dance in 1979.
In 1980, he was in the horns section on The Blues Brothers: Music from the Soundtrack. He arranged for the Saturday Night Live band from 1985 to 1990. In 1986, he found time to play baritone sax and tenor sax on Steve Winwood’s Back in the High Life. He stuck to tenor sax on David Byrne’s Uh-Oh in 1992. In 1995, he easily made the cut on the Steve Winwood boxed set, The Finer Things. He remained with the SNL band well into the new millennium and produced a new album, Katewalk. He worked on the album To Al and Zoot…With Love which was released in 2008.
Van McCoy recordings
The Shuffle (Van McCoy)
That’s the Joint (Van McCoy)
Here he is performing “Red Door” with Bob Keller in a tribute to Al Cohn and Zoot Sims….