King Curtis was an American saxophonist and bandleader known for his soulful and dynamic playing style. Born on February 7, 1934, in Fort Worth, Texas, Curtis began playing the saxophone at a young age and quickly developed a reputation as a skilled and innovative musician.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Curtis became a highly sought-after session musician, playing on countless recordings for artists in a variety of genres, including R&B, rock and roll, and jazz. He is perhaps best known for his work with Aretha Franklin, playing on some of her most famous recordings, including “Respect” and “Chain of Fools.”
Curtis’ playing style was characterized by its powerful sound and his ability to convey a wide range of emotions through his playing. He was equally comfortable playing ballads and up-tempo numbers, and his skill as a soloist made him a highly respected collaborator and sideman.
Throughout his career, Curtis recorded numerous albums as a bandleader, including “Soul Serenade” (1964) and “Live at Fillmore West” (1971). He also worked with a number of other music legends, including John Lennon and the Coasters.
Curtis’ contributions to music were recognized with numerous awards and honors, including a Grammy Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He passed away on August 13, 1971, in New York City.
Today, Curtis is remembered as one of the greatest saxophonists in music history, and his legacy as a performer and innovator continues to inspire new generations of musicians. His soulful sound and dynamic playing style have made him an enduring icon of the saxophone and a beloved figure in the music community.
Last updated 7/16/2023.