Albert Block

Time of Service:

To be announced in the near future

Place of Service:

To be announced in the near future

Burial Location:

Private
08/17/2015
Al Block, renowned woodwind musician who worked with and recorded for such greats as Benny Goodman, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, has died of lung cancer at the age of 89 in Manhattan. A beloved saxophonist/clarinetist/ flutist, Al was born in Brooklyn to Sam and Clara Silver Block. He attended The School of Performing Arts (now known as the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan) and joined his first band at 16. He went on to play with Raymond Scott, Boyd Raeburn, Artie Shaw, Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman, Sauter-Finegan, among many others. He can be heard on numerous big band and jazz recordings including landmark works such as Miles Davis/Gil Evans' Sketches of Spain and Charlie Parker and Voices, Other recording credits include numerous commercials and jingles as well as work with singers Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones and Nancy Wilson, to name a few. Al went on to play in the Orchestra for some of Broadway’s biggest shows including the original productions of West Side Story, Gypsy, Sweet Charity, High Spirits, Cabaret and La Cage Aux Folles. In 1983 he married his second wife, opera and classical singer Marni Nixon, also known for her dubbing in the motion pictures King and I, West Side Story and My Fair Lady. They shared a long and wonderful musical life together. An avid tennis and poker player, Al enjoyed his regular standing poker games with his long-time friends. His witty humor, generosity and warm personality were loved by all and will be sorely missed. Al is preceded in death by his brother, Irving Block, and his stepson, singer Andrew Gold. He is survived by his wife, Marni Nixon; his daughter, Jennifer Block from his first wife Peggy Johnson; step-children Martha (Gold) Carr and Melani Gold Friedman; sons-in-law Richard Carr and Howard Friedman; daughter-in-law widow Leslie Kogan (Gold) and Andrew’s former wife Vanessa Gold; six grandchildren and spouses Tim and Jen Carr, Ali and Ian Troxell; Alma Friedman; Emily, Victoria and Olivia Gold; and two great-grandchildren, Brendan Carr and Lucia Troxell. Memorial plans are to be arranged with Riverside Memorial Chapel. For details, contact 212-362-6600 or http://www.riversidememorialchapel.com/obituaries/show/2369 for further details. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Al’s name to one of the following charities that help in the research and treatment of childhood cancers: www.alexslemonade.org (866) 333-1213 or www.stbaldricks.org (888) 899-2253
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