Born: June 7, 1928
Anthony Ortega is one of the finest bop reedmen of the second half of the 20th century, though he is better known in Europe than in the U.S. A highly original improviser with impeccable tone and great emotional range, Ortega's style blends bebop with forms and techniques that evolved later.He is currently active and has released Afternoon In Paris, in 2007.
Coming out of the famed Los Angeles Central Avenue scene, Ortega was very much the peer of such sax men as Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon. After a stint in the Army, he came back in ‘51 to join up with Lionel Hampton with whom he traveled to Europe where he would garner quite a reputation. He came back to the states in ’58 and played steadily though not in the limelight until his release in ’61 of “A Man And His Horn.” This was a great hard bop set where he was accompanied by pianist Hank Jones....