Bobby Wellins dies

British saxophonist Bobby Wellins, one of the most respected musicians on the home jazz scene, has died aged 80 after a long illness.

British saxophonist Bobby Wellins, one of the most respected musicians on the home jazz scene, has died aged 80 after a long illness.

Wellins' crowning moment is arguably his haunting playing on pianist Stan Tracey’s ‘Under Milk Wood Suite’ from 1965. His solo on the piece ’Starless and Bible Black' is upheld as one of the iconic moments in British jazz recording.

Bobby Wellins was born in Glasgow in 1936, growing up playing his instrument from a very early age beginning on alto but later switching to tenor, emerging as a saxophonist with a beautiful tone and flawless musical ability,

Early in his career he fought his own personal demons, eventually conquering these and later teaching and travelling widely. During the 1980s he was a feature of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts’ Big Band.

In 2014 Wellins joined the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra to record his own highly evocative and rarely performed Culloden Moor Suite. This was music he composed in 1961 after reading John Prebble's vivid account of a brutal moment in Scottish history, the battle on Culloden Moor in 1746.

A great musician and a warmly loved character Bobby will be greatly missed.

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