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Cecil Payne

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Title: Cecil Payne  
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Subject: Roy Eldridge, Max Roach, Steve Davis (trombonist), Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch, Baritone saxophone, King Pleasure, Tom Harrell, Eric Alexander (jazz saxophonist), List of saxophonists, Flip Phillips
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Cecil Payne

Cecil Payne
Cecil Payne at the Kitano Hotel Jazz Club, NYC on June 11, 2005
Background information
Birth name Cecil Payne
Born (1922-12-14)December 14, 1922
Origin Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died November 27, 2007(2007-11-27) (aged 84)
Genres Bop
Hard bop
Occupations Saxophonist
Instruments Baritone saxophone
Alto saxophone
Labels Delmark Records
Associated acts Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Weston

Cecil Payne (December 14, 1922 – November 27, 2007) was a jazz baritone saxophonist born in Brooklyn, NY. Payne also played the alto saxophone and flute. He played with other jazz greats, in particular Dizzy Gillespie and Randy Weston, in addition to his solo work as bandleader.


Payne received his first saxophone at age 13, asking his father for one after hearing Honeysuckle Rose by Count Basie, performed by Lester Young. Payne took lessons from a local alto sax player, Pete Brown. He studied at Boys High School, Bedford-Stuyvesant.[1]

Payne began his professional recording career with J. J. Johnson on the Savoy label in 1946. During that year he was also began playing with Roy Eldridge, through whom he met Dizzy Gillespie. His earlier recordings would largely fall under the swing category, until Gillespie hired him. Payne stayed onboard until 1949, heard performing solos on "Ow!" and "Stay On It". In the early 1950s he found himself working with Tadd Dameron, and worked with Illinois Jacquet from 1952 to 1954. He then started freelance work in New York and frequently performed during this period with Randy Weston, whom Payne worked with until 1960.[2] Payne was still recording regularly for Delmark Records in the 1990s, when he was in his seventies, and indeed on into the new millennium.

Payne was a cousin of trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, whom he recorded with briefly.[3] Aside from his career in music Payne helped run his father's real estate company during the 1950s.[4] Payne once said that his parents urged him to consider dentistry as a career. He countered their suggestion by pointing out that no one would ever entrust his or her teeth to a "Dr. Payne."[5]


As leader

  • Patterns of Jazz (1957) Savoy Records
  • Performing Charlie Parker Music (1961) (Collectables)
  • Zodiac (Strata-East Records) (1973)
  • Bird Gets The Worm (Muse) (1976)
  • Bright Moments (1979)(Spotlight) SPJLP21
  • Cerupa (1993) (Delmark-478)
  • Scotch and Milk (1997) (Delmark DE-494)
  • Payne's Window (1999) (Delmark DE-509)
  • The Brooklyn Four Plus One (1999) (Progressive)
  • Chic Boom: Live at the Jazz Showcase (2001) (Delmark DE-529) with tenor player Eric Alexander.

As sideman

With Gene Ammons

  • Sock! (Prestige, 1955 [1965])

With Kenny Burrell

  • Kenny Burrell (Prestige, 1957)

With John Coltrane

  • Baritones and French Horns (Prestige, 1957)

With Tadd Dameron

With Kenny Dorham

With Matthew Gee

  • Jazz by Gee (Riverside, 1956)

With Dizzy Gillespie

  • Pleyel 48 (Vogue, 1948)
  • The Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Big Band (MPS, 1968)

With Benny Golson

  • Stockholm Sojourn (Prestige, 1974)

With Johnny Hammond

  • The Prophet (Kudu, 1972)

With Ernie Henry

  • Last Chorus (Riverside, 1956–57)

With Illinois Jacquet

  • The Soul Explosion (Prestige, 1969)

With J. J. Johnson

  • Jazz Quintets (Savoy, 1947–49)

With Duke Jordan

  • Trio/Quartet (Savoy, 1955)

With Archie Shepp

With Sonny Stitt

  • Sonny Stitt Plays Arrangements from the Pen of Quincy Jones (Roost, 1955)

With Clark Terry:

  • Clark Terry (EmArcy, 1955)

With Randy Weston

  • With These Hands... (Riverside, 1956)
  • Jazz á la Bohemia (Riverside, 1956)
  • The Modern Art of Jazz (Dawn, 1956)
  • Uhuru Afrika (Roulette, 1960)
  • Monterey '66 (Verve, 1966 [1994])

With Ernie Wilkins

  • Septet (Savoy, 1955)


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