Innovative British saxophonist equally at home with jazz, blues and rock. Had he been American, rather than British, he would have been hailed as one of the most innovative jazz saxophonists and composers in the world. As it was, his fame outside his native land came more from his US tours in support of Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple than it did from the astonishing variety and depth of his work in British jazz, blues and rock. He attended Gordonstoun for five years at the end of the war, before being removed by his father to Foxhole School, Dartington, where he began to play the clarinet. He soon became proficient on the soprano and alto saxophones, and when he went up to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in to study science, he soon became leader of the University Jazz Group. The following year his robust soloing won him an individual silver cup in the annual interuniversity jazz band contest.
Legendary Saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith Dies - BraveWords
Dick Heckstall-Smith was born in the Royal Free Hospital, in Ludlow , Shropshire , England,  and was raised in Knighton , Radnorshire , learning to play piano, clarinet and alto saxophone in childhood. He attended a York boarding school but refused a second term there, instead enrolling in Gordonstoun , where his father had accepted a job as headmaster of the local grammar school. Heckstall-Smith completed his education at Dartington Hall School , before reading agriculture — and co-leading the university jazz band — at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge , from Then Lester Young and tenor saxophonist bebop jazzman Wardell Gray proved to be major influences for him. Heckstall-Smith was an active member of the London jazz scene from the late s including a six-month stint from December with the band led by clarinettist Sandy Brown. The following year, he was a founding member of that band's breakaway unit, The Graham Bond Organisation.
Dick Heckstall-Smith Dies at the Age of 70
Legendary British saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, who played with a list of musicians that reads like a who's who of the international jazz and rock music scene, has died. Musician and long-time friend Roger Bunn says Heckstall-Smith died "after a long battle with cancer". Bruce, bassist of the legendary Cream, described Heckstall-Smith as his "musical father". A severe spinal problem forced him to stop playing and touring for several years but in he returned to the stage with a new band, Mainsqueeze, which toured supporting Bo Diddley.
Dick Heckstall -Smith Dave Sutherland. Subject: Obit. A consumate and highly respected musician, an absolute original, another of our musical icons gone this year. Dave Sutherland.