Blood, Sweat and Tears’ Trumpeter Lew Soloff Dead at 71

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Jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff, who worked with Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1968 until 1973, and had a great solo in the original 1969 hit “Spinning Wheel, ” died on Sunday in Brooklyn at age 71.

According to the LA Times, Soloff suffered a heart attack walking down a New York street Saturday night with his daughter Laura and her family. He died on Sunday.

Soloff played solo, and as leader of several recording sets. He also played for great such as Afro-Cuban musician Machito, Maynard Ferguson, George Benson, Carla Bley, Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Previte, and Jeremy Steig.

He played on stage and recorded with Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull, Aretha Franklin, Lou Reed, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand.

Lewis Michael Soloff was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Lakewood, NJ. He started playing the trumpet at age 10. He played with bands at Catskills resorts, and later studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and at the Juilliard School in NYC.

He told the Jerusalem Post in 2002 about his stint with Blood Sweat and Tears: “It gave me the life experience of once having been a sort of rock star — not individually but certainly as a member of the band. At one point, it was the second biggest band in the world. I’m thankful for that, but there was never enough improvisational freedom in the band for me to consider that as one of my jazz gigs.”

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