Two powerful saxophonists whose talents merited wider recognition, but who spent much of their lives away from jazz's major hubs, have died.
News came yesterday from the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra that tenor saxophonist Hadley Caliman had died at age 78, after a struggle with liver cancer. Caliman was a tenor player in the post-bop tradition; he recorded with jazzmen like Bobby Hutcherson and Freddie Hubbard, but also with genre-crossing musicians like Carlos Santana. He taught at Seattle's Cornish College for over 20 years, and was a beloved elder statesman in the Seattle community. (Last Friday, a photo of him was featured on this site.) Recently, he began recording again as a leader, creating three albums for the Seattle-based Origin Records. A local jazz blog has more information, and touching user comments. [The Seattle Jazz Scene: Hadley Caliman, 1932-2010]
Last week, alto saxophonist Noah Howard died unexpectedly in the South of France, his agent announced on Howard's website. A New Orleans native reared in the city's musical traditions, he eventually found his way to New York, where he was active in the improvisatory avant-garde. After recording a few cult classic albums in a dismal financial climate for free jazz, Howard moved to Europe — first Paris, then Brussels, Belgium. He was active throughout his life: His 2010 album, Voyage, is described as a hybrid of free jazz and "world" music, inspired by his global travels. Howard was 67. [Billboard: Noah Howard, Jazz Saxophonist, Dies]