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Paul Quinichette

Many men tried, but Paul Quinichette was the most successful at emulating the style of Lester Young. (Young called him “Lady Q”, a term not exactly meant at as a compliment.) With a nice smoky tone, Quinichette worked with many great musicians, and played on some of the earliest tribute albums. If he is somewhat forgotten today, it may because the tenor style he followed is currently out of favor. That fact does not lessen his music, some of which is remarkable.

Paul Quinichette grew up in Denver and started young with the saxophone, and attended Tennessee State College as a music major. Beginning on alto and clarinet, he switched to tenor as he began to get work with R&B bands. He toured with Jay McShann for two years (1942-44), and then did similar stints with Louis Jordan and Henry “Red” Allen. He moved to New York around 1946.

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