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RIP Lennie Niehaus - 2020

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Lennie Niehaus, who became well known as an alto saxophonist and arranger for the jazz bandleader Stan Kenton in the 1950s before turning to a career as a composer of film scores, notably for Clint Eastwood movies like “Bird” and “Unforgiven,” died on May 28 at his daughter’s home in Redlands, in Southern California. He was 90.

His son-in-law, Owen Sheeran, said the cause was probably heart-related.

Mr. Niehaus had been with the Kenton band for several months when he was drafted into the Army in 1952. He played in the base band at Fort Ord in Northern California and in a quartet that performed at noncommissioned officers’ clubs where Mr. Eastwood, a jazz lover, was a regular.

He returned to Kenton’s band in 1954 and remained until 1959, but he did not reconnect with Mr. Eastwood until the 1970s. By then, Mr. Niehaus was orchestrating scores for the composer Jerry Fielding, including some for movies starring Mr. Eastwood, including “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (1976).

Eight years later, Mr. Niehaus wrote the score for “Tightrope,” a murder mystery set in New Orleans that Mr. Eastwood produced and starred in as a police officer.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/10/movies/lennie-niehaus-dead.html
 
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