Preston Love

Decades: 1960s 1980s 2000s


26 April 1921, Omaha, Nabraska, USA, d. 12 February 2004, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Love inherited an alto saxophone from his older brother Dude and obtained his first professional job in 1940, after which he took lessons from Illinois Jacquet’s brother Julius. Inspired further by Count Basie’s Earle Warren, Love played with Lloyd Hunter, Nat Towles and Snub Mosley before replacing Warren in Basie’s band briefly in 1943. He worked with Lucky Millinder in 1944 and rejoined Basie for a longer spell from 1945-47, after which he played on-and-off in the band of his friend, Johnny Otis. Love also led his own orchestra (recording for his own Spin label and Federal Records) until 1962.

Moving to California, Love became a top session-player until he joined Ray Charles’ band in 1966, going on to become the west coast house band leader at Motown Records. In the 90s, Love lectured in African American music at colleges and wrote for local...

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