Doobie Brothers' sax man dies in mid-air

posted 2004-02-19 09:19:56 by doug

A US passenger plane has made an emergency landing after Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus suffered a fatal heart attack.

The 58-year-old, who was en route from New York to a series of performances in California, was declared dead when the plane touched down in Sioux City, Iowa.

Steely Dan, on its website, has expressed its "profound sorrow and sympathy to Cornelius' wife and family".

Bumpus began his career at age 10, playing alto saxophone in the school band in Santa Cruz, California.

In 1966, he spent six months performing with Bobby Freeman, and joined Moby Grape in 1977, writing one tune for the Live Grape album. Bumpus also recorded two solo albums and toured with his own band.

Since performing with The Doobie Brothers in the early 1980s, Bumpus played with a number of bands, most recently with Steely Dan, which won the "Album of the Year" Grammy for its 2000 Two Against Nature release.

His relations with his former Doobie bandmates turned contentious in the late 1990s, when they sued him and several other musicians over their use of the Doobies name. A federal judge in 1999 ruled against Bumpus and the other musicians, ordering them not to use the name.

Story filed: 08:43 Wednesday 4th February 2004

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