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John Stubblefield, 60; Played Saxophone With Miles Davis

July 15, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

John Stubblefield, 60, a versatile jazz saxophonist who worked with some of the leading names in jazz including Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and McCoy Tyner, died July 4 of prostate cancer at a hospital in New York City.

Born in Little Rock, Ark., Stubblefield learned piano and saxophone as a child. He played with rhythm and blues acts such as Jackie Wilson and Solomon Burke.

He later moved to Chicago where he joined the progressive Assn. for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, a nonprofit alliance of musicians dedicated to pursuing avant-garde jazz.

Stubblefield moved to New York in 1971 where he worked with pianist Mary Lou Williams, Mingus and Davis, among others. After Mingus' death, he performed with the Mingus Big Band, which was dedicated to keeping the bassist's music in the public spotlight.

As a leader of his own quartet since the 1980s, Stubblefield recorded for Enja and Soul Note.

A jazz educator throughout his career, Stubblefield taught in the Chicago public schools and at Rutgers University and Wesleyan University.

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