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Dennis Irwin

Bassist Dennis Irwin was a fixture of NEW YORK jazz for over three years, playing on a lot more than 500 LPs including periods headlined by Artwork Blakey, John Scofield, and Joe Lovano. Delivered in Birmingham, AL on November 28, 1951, Irwin was raised in Atlanta and Knoxville — his old brothers had been jazz buffs, and making use of their encouragement he started playing clarinet. Within the middle-’60s the family members relocated to Houston, where in fact the teenaged Irwin performed alto sax in some local R&B music group. While studying traditional clarinet at North Tx State College or university he started playing upright bass within the school’s Two O’Clock Big Music group, even though still in college he also supported Red Garland through the pianist’s 1973 stay in Dallas. Garland prompted Irwin to relocate to NY, and in the summertime of 1974 he shifted there, employed in a Greenwich Community record shop while gigging with tenor saxophonist Charles Brackeen. In 1975, Irwin arrived his first regular function behind trumpeter Ted Carson, quickly rising because the bassist of preference for vocalists including Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Annie Ross, and Jackie Paris. He produced his documented debut the next year, assisting pianist Dom Salvador around the Muse LP MY CHILDREN. In 1977, Irwin authorized on with Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, later on writing some compositions for the group including “Kamal.” With Blakey pianist Wayne Williams he also slice the duo program Concentrate. After exiting the Blakey rates in 1980, Irwin gigged behind jazz legends including Stan Getz, Johnny Griffin, and Horace Metallic, and following a stint with Chet Baker, he captured on with Mel Lewis, whose group also included up-and-coming saxophonist Joe Lovano. When Lovano break up with Lewis to create his non-et, he required Irwin with him, as well as the bassist continued to be a regular collaborator for a lot more than 2 decades. Another significant and long-running cooperation combined Irwin with guitarist John Scofield for the acclaimed Blue Notice times What We Perform, Hands Jive, and Groove Elation; furthermore, he sat in nearly every Mon night using the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra in the famed Town Vanguard, a custom dating back approximately a quarter hundred years. When Irwin started an extended and eventually fatal struggle with liver organ cancer, his disease became a rallying stage for the brand new York jazz community — both Smalls as well as the Town Vanguard hosted advantages to increase cash for his treatment and bills, and his plight also brought focus on other uninsured music artists, using the Jazz Basis of America creating the Dennis Irwin Memorial Account to make free of charge cancer screenings open to veteran jazz and blues performers. Irwin passed away in Manhattan on March 10, 2008, exactly the same day time like a Jazz at Lincoln Middle advantage concert in his honor offering shows by Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, and Jon Hendricks, furthermore to Lovano and Scofield.

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