Chicago tenor man Harold Ousley dies

Saxophonist and flautist Harold Ousley, who played with Miles Davis and accompanied Billie Holiday, has died aged 86.

Saxophonist and flautist Harold Ousley, who began playing in the 1940s, has died aged 86. During the 1950s Ousley played with fellow Chicago saxophonist Gene ‘Jug’ Ammons and trumpeter Miles Davis and also accompanied Billie Holiday.

Throughout that decade his rich, sometimes muscular tenor playing was in great form and in good company along with legendary names like organist Jack McDuff, pianist Bud Powell, trumpeter Clark Terry and vocalists Dinah Washington and Joe Williams. He was later to join the big bands of Count Basie and Duke Ellington as well as established names in pop and r&b. 

Harold Ousley was a music educator and even hosted his own cable TV show. He only recorded sporadically and his last recording as a leader was in 2000 for Delmark Records called ‘Grit-Gittin’ Feelin’ which featured four of his original compositions.

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