Illinois Jacquet

Jean-Baptiste Illinois Jacquet (October 30, 1922 – July 22, 2004) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, best remembered for his solo on “Flying Home“, critically recognized as the first R&Bsaxophone solo.

Although he was a pioneer of the honking tenor saxophone that became a regular feature of jazz playing and a hallmark of early rock and roll, Jacquet was a skilled and melodic improviser, both on up-tempo tunes and ballads. He doubled on the bassoon, one of only a few jazz musicians to use the instrument.

Jacquet’s parents were Creoles of color, named Marguerite Trahan and Gilbert Jacquet, When he was an infant, his family moved from Louisiana to Houston, Texas, and he was raised there as one of six siblings. His father was a part-time bandleader. As a child he performed in his father’s band, primarily on the alto saxophone. His older brother Russell Jacquet played trumpet and his other brother Linton played drums.

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