Modern day saxophone giant died today, January 13, of leukemia. I’ve posted about his battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a cancer in which the bone marrow stops producing enough healthy blood cells. The disease, known as MDS, often progresses to leukemia. His call for a donor led me to learn about bone marrow donation and register with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) in case I could be of help to him or anyone else.
I loved Michael’s powerful sound. The man could burn on the sax like few I’ve heard. I was impressed to read that he finished one last recording (maybe playing EWI if I remember the JazzTimes article from a few months ago correctly) two weeks ago. It’s a testament to not only the power of his sound but of his will as well. Rest in peace, Michael. My thoughts are with his brother Randy, his wife Susan, and the rest of his family.