Ray Warleigh: Eclectic saxophonist who worked in jazz and pop

“To hear him play the blues was a special thing.” Evan Parker’s verdict on his friend and fellow-saxophonist sums up the reactions of those who worked alongside Ray Warleigh during a 65-year career in British jazz, rock and r’n’b. A self-effacing figure who always played for the band and for the music rather than for the spotlight, Warleigh had almost drifted out of sight as far as the record-buying public was concerned when Parker organised a 2009 studio date for him with studio drummer Tony Marsh. It yielded the CD Rue Victor Masse on Parker’s Psi label, a set that once again vividly demonstrated Warleigh’s perfectionism.

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