Henry Berthold "Spike" Robinson, a U.K.-based American saxophonist admired for his liquid tone and lyrical verve, died Oct. 29 at the age of 71. Robinson died at his home in Writtle in southern Englan
Henry Berthold "Spike" Robinson, a U.K.-based American saxophonist admired for his liquid tone and lyrical verve, died Oct. 29 at the age of 71. Robinson died at his home in Writtle in southern England, his family said. The cause of death was not announced.
Wisconsin-born Robinson went to the U.K. as a U.S. Navy bandsman after World War II, and in his spare time played with British bebop pioneers such as Ronnie Scott, John Dankworth, and Victor Feldman, making a series of recordings for the Esquire label. He returned to the U.S. and completed an engineering degree, continuing to play in jazz clubs while working as a manager with Honeywell Corp.
He returned to music full-time in 1981 after recording an album of Harry Warren compositions featuring Feldman, on piano this time, and bassist Ray Brown. The record led to a series of successful gigs, and Robinson was soon in demand on the U.S. and European jazz circuits. His melodic tenor-sax style was often compared to that of Stan Getz.
In 1989 Robinson moved to England, from where, despite bouts of poor health, he played steadily throughout Europe and the United States. He also recorded regularly for the Edinburgh-based Hep label. A cricket fan, Robinson often jazzed up matches at Lord's cricket ground in London as part of John Barnes's Outswingers.
Robinson is survived by his wife, Susan May, and by a son and daughter from a previous marriage.
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