Gene Allen – Saxophone
Bernardo Altmann – Cello
Bert Ardi – Violin
Phil Bodner – Clarinet
Rose Chanivecky – Violin
Dennis Irwin – Bass
John F. Knapp – Copyist
Samuel Kramar – Violin
Teo Macero – Saxophone/Conductor/Arranger
Lloyd Trotman – Bass
Gene Allen, 79, a saxophonist and woodwind player, died on Feb. 14. He had been an 802 member since 1944.
Mr. Allen first started playing professionally at the age of 12 in his brother George’s band and with a small group that he formed in the Gary, Indiana area.
At the age of 15, Mr. Allen went on the road with Louis Prima, who became Mr. Allen’s legal guardian as Mr. Allen required supervision as a minor. He recorded and performed with Prima and played in a movie used for entertaining the troops in World War II.
From there, Mr. Allen’s career took off.
He played with Claude Thornhill, Tex Beneke, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra and the Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey Orchestras.
Next, he joined the Benny Goodman band and toured in the U.S., Russia and Belgium.
He then played with Woody Herman and Gerry Mulligan’s Tentet and Concert Jazz Band.
Mr. Allen also played and recorded with George Williams, Thelonious Monk, Chet Baker, Bob Brookmeyer, Phil Sunkel, Tony Fruscella, Billy VerPlanck, Dick Meldonian, Vinnie Riccitelli, as well as singers Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Mooney, Teri Thornton, Lee Wiley and Maxine Sullivan.
After being on the road for 25 years, Mr. Allen settled in New York City, where he did some work for Hal Grant and became a fixture at the Copacabana. He studied at Juilliard with Hall Overton and Manny Albam.
Mr. Allen is survived by his brother Bob Sufana, sister Mary Sufana and fiancee Shae Bevan.
Phil Bodner, 90, a clarinetist and multi-instrumentalist, died on Feb. 24. He had been an 802 member since 1938.
One of the busiest reed men from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, Mr. Bodner recorded with Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Dick Hyman, Doc Severinson, Urbie Green and many others. He occasionally subbed for Benny Goodman at the Rainbow Room.
His greatest fame came from his work as conductor, performer, composer and arranger for the Brass Ring, an all-instrumental pop group, which also featured saxophonist Stan Webb and guitarist Tony Mottola.
The band’s hit “The Dis-Advantages of You” became nationally known after it was used as the background theme for a series of cigarette commercials in the late 60’s.
The Brass Ring covered other hits of the day, such as “Al-Di-La,” “Samba De Orfeu” and Quincy Jones’ theme from the movie “For Love of Ivy.” They had a number-one hit with the “Love Theme from ‘The Flight of The Phoenix’” in 1965.
After the group disbanded in the early 70’s, Mr. Bodner continued to keep active as a studio musician. He could play all woodwinds, including double reeds and flute.
In the early 80’s, he also worked in clubs with bassist George Duvivier and drummer Mel Lewis. He played with Mel Torme, Jonathan Schwartz and others when they toured through town.
He is survived by his wife Judith, sons Mark and Neal, daughters-in-law Beth and Pam, and grandchildren Josh, Adam, Matthew, Justin, Danielle and Hannah. His first wife Harriet predeceased him.
Some information in this obituary came from the Internet news group alt.obituaries.
Dennis Irwin, 56, the jazz bassist, died of liver failure as a result of cancer, on March 10. He had been a Local 802 member since 1980.
Mr. Irwin played on over 500 albums. He performed with Red Garland, Ted Curson, Betty Carter and Mose Allison, among others. In 1977 he began a three-year stint in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Since the early 1980’s, he performed almost every Monday with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. In more recent years, he played with Johnny Griffin, Joe Lovano, John Scofield and Matt Wilson.
He died the same day a benefit concert was presented in his honor, staged by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Part of the proceeds will go to the Jazz Foundation of America, which has helped many uninsured musicians — including Mr. Irwin — pay for healthcare. Local 802 contributed to the event.
The Englewood (N.J.) Hospital and Medical Center announced that it would create the Dennis Irwin Memorial Fund, making free cancer screenings available to veteran jazz and blues musicians who are uninsured. And Adrian Ellis, executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, said Tuesday that the organization would produce an annual concert to benefit jazz musicians in need.
Mr. Irwin is survived by his father David, mother Daisy Godbold, son Michael and brother David. He is also survived by his companion Aria Hendricks, daughter of jazz singer Jon Hendricks.
Edited from the New York Times
John F. Knapp, 79, a music copyist and an 802 member since 1946, died on Feb. 28.
Mr. Knapp was the founding president of the American Society of Music Copyists and was the first full-time music copyist to ever serve on the Local 802 Executive Board, which he did from 1983 to 1984.
Mr. Knapp was president of Associated Music Copy Service and co-owner of Music Preparation International.
He was a graduate of Grover Cleveland High School (in Queens) and of the New York Institute of Photography.
Mr. Knapp is survived by his wife Helen, sons John and James, daughters Jane M. Ware and Andrea Judge, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The family requests that memorials in his name may be made to McGee Middle School Band and sent to McGee Middle School, 13353 NC Hwy 210, Benson, NC 27504.
Teo Macero, 82, a record producer, composer and saxophonist, died on Feb. 19. He had been an 802 member since 1949.
Mr. Macero entered Juilliard in 1948 where he studied with the composer Henry Brant. Later he would compose modern classical music as well as the classical-to-jazz idiom called Third Stream.
In the 1950’s, he worked as a tenor saxophonist with Charles Mingus, Teddy Charles and the Sandole Brothers, among others.
As a producer at Columbia Records, he worked with artists like J. J. Johnson, Mahalia Jackson, Johnny Mathis, Thelonious Monk and Dave Brubeck, for whom he produced the famous album “Time Out.”
But Mr. Macero was most famous for his role in producing a series of albums by Miles Davis in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Helping to build Miles Davis albums like “Bitches Brew,” “In a Silent Way” and “Get Up With It,” Mr. Macero used techniques partly inspired by composers like Edgard Varèse, who had been using tape-editing and electronic effects to help shape the music.
Davis’s routine in the late 1960’s was to record a lot of music in the studio with a band, much of it improvised and based on themes and even mere chords that he would introduce on the spot. Later Mr. Macero, with Davis’s help, would splice together vamps and bits and pieces of improvisation.
Mr. Macero later worked with the singer Robert Palmer, the Lounge Lizards, Vernon Reid, D.J. Logic and others.
He is survived by his wife Jeanne, sister Lydia Edwards and stepdaughter Suzie Lightbourn.
Edited from the New York Times.