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Curtis Amy

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Curtis Amy
Born(1929-10-11)October 11, 1929
Houston, Texas, U.S.
DiedJune 5, 2002(2002-06-05) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California
Years active1960s
LabelsPacific Jazz

Curtis Amy (October 11, 1929 – June 5, 2002) was a jazz saxophonist.[1]


Amy was born in Houston, Texas. He learned how to play clarinet before joining the Army, and during his time in service, picked up the tenor saxophone. After his discharge, he attended and graduated from Kentucky State College. He worked as an educator in Tennessee while playing in midwestern jazz clubs. In the mid-1950s, he relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Pacific Jazz Records, often playing with organist Paul Bryant. In the mid-60s, he spent three years as musical director of Ray Charles' orchestra, together with his wife, Merry Clayton, and Steve Huffsteter.[2]

As well as leading his own bands and recording albums under his own name, Amy also did session work and played the solos on several recordings, including The Doors song "Touch Me", Carole King's Tapestry, and Lou Rawls' first albums, Black and Blue and Tobacco Road, coinciding with Dexter Gordon in the Onzy Matthews big band,[2] as well as working with Marvin Gaye, Tammy Terrell and Smokey Robinson.[2]

Up until his death, he was married to singer and recording artist Merry Clayton.[2]


As leader

  • The Blues Message (Pacific Jazz, 1960)
  • Meetin' Here (Pacific Jazz, 1961)
  • Groovin' Blue (Pacific Jazz, 1961)
  • Tippin' On Through (Pacific Jazz, 1962)
  • Way Down (Pacific Jazz, 1962)
  • Katanga! (Pacific Jazz, 1963)[2]
  • The Sounds of Broadway/The Sounds of Hollywood (Palomar, 1965)
  • Mustang (Verve, 1966)
  • Jungle Adventure in Music and Sound (Coliseum, 1966)
  • Peace For Love (Fresh Sounds 1994)

As sideman

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Carole King

With Lou Rawls

  • Black and Blue (Capitol, 1963)
  • Tobacco Road (Capitol, 1963)

With Gerald Wilson


  1. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. p. 13. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e Obituary at The Last Post
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