Saxophonist and flutist Gerry Niewood died in the plane crash in Buffalo last night. He was a wonderful player whose saxophone was heard most famously with Chuck Mangione and on the Concert In Central Park album by Simon & Garfunkel.
Niewood was one of the first horn players I ever knew by name because Paul Simon yells out his name after a solo on that live album. I’ve always been a huge Chuck Mangione fan, too, and own all the LPs that Chuck and Gerry made together, many of them recorded in their native Rochester.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Gerry Niewood in 2004 at Jazz90.1. He was very gracious, humble and funny. I interviewed his son Adam in the fall of last year. He’s also a very talented saxophonist, and he talked quite a bit about Gerry during the interview.
LISTEN to the interview with Adam Niewood. He starts talking about his dad halfway through.
My condolences go out to Adam and the entire Niewood family. What a sad, sad day.
UPDATE: Here are some of the many press stories about Gerry’s passing: