Saxophonist Stan Robinson died on Sunday 9th April, just five days before what would have been his 81st birthday. He had been treated for heart arrhythmia for some time but his final illness lasted just two days. He had been playing as recently as a couple of weeks ago with Kate Williams at the Princess of Wales Sunday session in Primrose Hill.
He was born in Salford and came to London in 1959. He was at various times a member of the Tubby Hayes Big Band, the Ronnie Ross sextet, the Maynard Ferguson orchestra (for two years including a US tour). He toured with Aretha Franklin, accompanied Dizzy Gillespie, and made two tours of the US with the Charlie Watts Big Band.
This video of him playing at Frank Holder’s 91st gives the briefest of glimpses of his strong sound and his natural and clear way of working through harmonic changes:
Geoff Castle has posted this tribute:
‘Stan was a wonderful tenor player and he had a great sense of humour. He had many stories to tell, including one about decorating the first Ronnie Scott’s Club with Georgie Fame and Ronnie, just days before its opening. He featured at the club on its very first Saturday night and his quartet continued to appear regularly at the club right up until the change of ownership. Stan always spoke his mind in a very forthright way, which didn’t always go down well, but underneath the slightly abrasive surface lay a heart of pure gold, a tremendous enthusiasm and massive musical talent. His original tunes were very quirky and a pleasure to play though, sadly, he tended to hide these under a bushel and stick with the standards. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and played with him. RIP Stan.’
The funeral will be on Wednesday 19th April at 09.45 at Mortlake Crematorium TW9 4EN.. In Sadness.