Arthur Blythe, acclaimed Southern California saxophonist and jazz innovator, dies at 76

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Arthur Blythe, one of the most daring and acclaimed jazz saxophonists of the 1970s and ‘80s, has died. He was 76.

No cause of death was given, but the Los Angeles native had been fighting Parkinson’s disease since 2005 and several benefit concerts had been held on his behalf. He died Monday, it was announced on his Facebook page.

Blythe had been living in Lancaster but it was not disclosed where he died.

“He developed pneumonia recently and that’s really what did him in,” said Los Angeles vibraphonist and marimba player Gust Tsilis, who recorded and performed with Blythe and hailed him as a one-of-a-kind musical force. “His sound was special, unique and very powerful. If we could all have a sound like that … .”


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