28 October 1945, Nottingham, England, d. 8 February 2006, London, England. This fiery, self-taught saxophonist mainly played alto but sometimes used saxello. He had lessons on piano from four years old and on violin from the age of 11. He hated these and took up clarinet and tenor saxophone, picking up the techniques himself and playing in various trad bands as a semi-professional. He went to Germany with a soul band, Lester Square And The GTs, and then joined the Irish Crickets, a showband. Regular work and wages enabled him to return to England, where he formed his own group, the Soul Pushers. In 1967, he joined Bluesology, who were at the start of their association with Long John Baldry. It was here that he first played with Marc Charig, later a front-line partner in the Keith Tippett Sextet. (For lovers of trivia, when Bluesology split up, the organist, Reg Dwight, took his stage name from colleagues Elton Dean and John Baldry to become Elton John.) Dean first...
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