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Pat Rizzo Has Died At Age 79

Sly & The Family Stone - Ha Ha, Hee Hee written by Pat Rizzo

Pat Rizzo, a saxophonist who played with Sly & The Family Stone, War, Tito Puente and Frank Sinatra, died on Thursday. He was 79.

Rizzo, in 1970, was “recommended to replace a saxophonist in the groundbreaking funk band Sly & The Family Stone. Sly Stone called him into his bathroom and asked if he was any good. Rizzo said yeah and Sly gave him the job without hearing him play. One night, they went to a recording studio and Rizzo watched Sly jam with Jimi Hendrix. After that, they dreamed of fusing rock and funk with jazz. They started stretching funk in a new jazz direction.”

Read more at the Palm Springs Desert Sun.