Gerry Niewood  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

If you know anything about my musical life, you know I was largely influenced by famed flugelhornist Chuck Mangione. This isn't a blog about him, though, but about his saxophonist, Gerry Niewood, who played on many of Chuck's early landmark records and rejoined him on tours over the last few years.

Gerry died on Continental Flight 3407 yesterday, as did Chuck's guitarist Coleman Mellett.

While I occasionally get to perform with several Mangione musicians from years past (including two of his current musicians, Dave Tull and Kevin Axt, who, thankfully, were not on that flight), I never met Gerry or heard him play live. But, oh, the hours I spent listening to his recordings. I know those solos by heart. He was amazing.

Most musicians dream of leaving a musical legacy behind. When we die, we hope people would continue to listen to what we played. So, since you're here, please take a minute to honor him by watching this video of Gerry playing live with Chuck in the early 1970's. He plays a great solo starting at the 1-minute mark, for about 2-1/2 minutes.

Rest in Peace, thank you for the music.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 13, 2009 at Friday, February 13, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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