Andrew Love, Legendary Memphis Saxophonist, Dies at 70

Tenor saxophonist Andrew Love, one-half of the award-winning musical group The Memphis Horns, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 70.

Willie Love, Andrew’s wife, told The Associated Press on Friday that her husband died Thursday night surrounded by family and friends at his Memphis home.

“He played with such feeling. He played with grace, soul,” Willie told the AP, recalling her husband’s love for music. “Andrew played notes from his heart.”

For more than 40 years, Love and his longtime musical partner, trumpeter Wayne Jackson, worked to produce hits for Memphis-based Stax Record as a part of the dynamic duo, the Memphis Horns.

“I knew we would be perfect together,” Jackson said in a statement released Thursday. “[Andrew] had a big tone and I had a big tone, and I knew that they would blend in the most natural, beautiful way.”

In addition to their own albums, Love and Jackson created musical masterpieces by providing the horn sections for artists like Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and many others. Some of their best known works include Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” Sam Dave’s “Soul Man,” Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” and Steve Winwood’s “Roll With It.”

In total, the duo played on 83 gold and platinum albums and 52 No. 1 records during the course of their career.

The Boston Globe adds that the two were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in February, only the second instrumental backup group in history to receive the honor.

Upon hearing of Andrew Love’s passing, Stax Records released the following statement:

“The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is saddened by the passing of one of Stax Records’ and the world’s most important musical artists, Andrew Love, who along with Wayne Jackson, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year for their tremendous body of work as the Memphis Horns. Stax Records may never have enjoyed the success it achieved without Andrew. He was a kind, talented man who lived a fascinating and very important life and made a difference in the world in many ways. Our thoughts are with his wife Willie and his entire family, as well as with Wayne and Amy Jackson and Andrew’s millions of fans.”

In addition to his wife, Andrew Love is survived by his brother Roy Love, and children, Vincent Thompson, Terri Lawrence, Angela Parker and Andre Love.

Memphis’ WMCTV News has more on Love’s memorable career in the clip below:

via CBS