March 8, 2015 – Lewis Michael Soloff (Blood, Sweat & Tears) was born February 20, 1944 in New York. He was a jazz trumpeter, composer and actor, who studied trumpet at the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School. He worked with Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1968 until 1973. Prior to this, he worked with Machito, Tony Scott, Maynard Ferguson and Tito Puente.
In the 1980s he was a member of Members Only, a jazz ensemble who recorded for Muse Records. Soloff made frequent guest appearances with jazz orchestras all over the world such as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (directed by Wynton Marsalis) and the Magic City Jazz Orchestra (directed by Ray Reach). Soloff was a longtime member of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet and Mingus Big Band.
He recorded and performed with Gil Evans and was a regular member of Evans’ Monday Night ensembles until Evans’ death. His 2010 recording Sketches of Spain is a tribute to the classic 1959-60 Miles Davis-Gil Evans collaboration, and he has performed the equally legendary and prodigiously difficult (reconstructed) Evans arrangements of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
He was among a handful of trumpeters capable of playing demanding lead trumpet parts while also contributing improvisational solos, and of playing (as musicians refer to it) “legitimate” music (baroque, classical, and later orchestral and chamber music styles) making him an in-demand session player for commercials and soundtracks.
Soloff died on March 8, 2015 after apparently suffering a heart attack in New York City. He was 71.