Tenor Saxophonist Lin Halliday Dies At 63
Tenor saxophonist Lin Halliday, who started his professional career in
late 1950s but wouldn't achieve wider notoriety until later in life, died
Tuesday (Jan. 25) in Chicago of natural causes. He was 63.
Halliday was well known to the Windy City jazz community for his
post-bop-styled performances at such local venues as the Green Mill,
the Bop Shop, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase and the Get Me
High Lounge. He was in his 50s when he released his debut
album, tellingly named Delayed Exposure, on the Delmark
Halliday was born in De Queen, Ark., on June 16, 1936, but
was raised in the state capital of Little Rock, where he took
up clarinet and saxophone. After graduating high school,
Halliday moved to Los Angeles, where he began playing
professionally with altoist Joe Maini and at local jam sessions.
Within a few years, Halliday left California for Wisconsin,
where he took a break from performance to hone his chops
(paying special attention to the recordings of Sonny Rollins).
He moved to New York in 1958, and the following year
replaced Wayne Shorter in Maynard Ferguson's orchestra. He
also performed in the ensembles of Louis Bellson and Philly
Joe Jones at around that time.
For a period in the 1960s, Halliday lived and played around
Nashville, Tenn., where he'd moved to raise his family. In
1978, he sustained a serious injury to his knees and was
confined to bed for an extended period. In 1980, Halliday
moved to Chicago, where his career started anew with club
appearances and a Delmark record deal. In the 1990s, he
released three albums for the label, including Delayed
Exposure, East Of The Sun, and Where Or When. He also
co-led the album Stablemates with saxophonist Eric
He is survived by his daughters Laura MacMahon and Jennifer
Halliday, and a grandson, Brady Duncan. Lin Halliday will be
cremated, with his ashes and saxophone to be sent to Ms.
-- Drew Wheeler