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Durand
11-08-2008, 08:11 PM
I was curious about the expectancy of life of saxophonists and I made a list of some of the most famous saxophonists. I am impressed about the short life expectancy: 56 years. It is a list composed by 31 names from Sidney Bechet to Michael Brecker. Being the oldest Benny Carter with 96 years old and the younger Chu Berry with 31.
Is it possible that saxophone playing influence this short life expectancy?

Seasax
11-08-2008, 08:14 PM
playing the saxophone will not directly influence your lifespan, but perhaps what a certain music scene might expose you to (aka drugs and alcohol) does.

gary
11-08-2008, 08:19 PM
I was curious about the expectancy of life of saxophonists and I made a list of some of the most famous saxophonists. I am impressed about the short life expectancy: 56 years. It is a list composed by 31 names from Sidney Bechet to Michael Brecker. Being the oldest Benny Carter with 96 years old and the younger Chu Berry with 31.
Is it possible that saxophone playing influence this short life expectancy?

Then was then and now is now, wot?

Make another list including saxophonists born in later generations, say from 1950 on, and see what that average is.

hakukani
11-08-2008, 08:37 PM
A positive correlation does not necessarily indicate cause.

I think that lifestyle and genetics would have a larger influence than sax playing.

Raspberry 007
11-08-2008, 08:49 PM
A positive correlation does not necessarily indicate cause.

I think that lifestyle and genetics would have a larger influence than sax playing.

Ditto that . . .

Henshaw
11-08-2008, 09:04 PM
It's interesting to note the comparison of life expectancy between classical and jazz players who were born between 1900-1950. Many great classical players born during this time seem to have almost double the life expectancy of jazzs great of that era: Marcel Mule - 100yrs (1901-2001); Sigurd Rascher - 94yrs (1907-2001); Jean-Marie Londeix - 76 and going strong (1932 -); Eugene Rousseau - 76 and still going (1932 - ). And this is just to name a few.

Could it be due to the different musical lifestyles? As far as I know none of these guys weren't involved with substance abuse. Or would there be another reason?

Durand
11-08-2008, 09:19 PM
Yeah, I know Jazz musicians are often involved in substance abuse. This obviously give a short expectancy. I think Henshaw's comments give a clear explanation to this.
Also, It will depend on which country the musician was born and his limitations as a child (education, nutrition, etc)

gary
11-08-2008, 09:38 PM
Wait a minute. This is ridiculous. Those wanting to quote statistics - where are these coming from? Are they coming from a list that includes several thousand or only from a few you put together yourself. Inquiring minds want to know.

Durand
11-08-2008, 09:48 PM
Wait a minute. This is ridiculous. Those wanting to quote statistics - where are these coming from? Are they coming from a list that includes several thousand or only from a few you put together yourself. Inquiring minds want to know.

Well, I am not at all a statistic expert, but I know that a list of 31 musicians is not significatively a good sample.
I was just curious about the death age of some of the most famous saxophonists in history. And I found that is too short.

hakukani
11-08-2008, 10:01 PM
Well, I am not at all a statistic expert, but I know that a list of 31 musicians is not significatively a good sample.
I was just curious about the death age of some of the most famous saxophonists in history. And I found that is too short.

The list?:shock:

Enviroguy
11-08-2008, 10:12 PM
I am formally trained in statistics and use it in my work. When folks start trying to make correlations, I usually add the following:

* US children that go through anti-drug education in school are more likely to use drugs as kids that never get classes.

* A graph of America's rise and loss of influences in the world is almost identical to the percentage of hamburgers and Coca Cola consumed by its population.

Correlation alone does not prove cause. So have a Coke, a hamburger, and stay away from drugs. Maybe you will live longer. ;)

Jazz Is All
11-08-2008, 10:59 PM
I was curious about the expectancy of life of saxophonists and I made a list of some of the most famous saxophonists. I am impressed about the short life expectancy: 56 years. It is a list composed by 31 names from Sidney Bechet to Michael Brecker. Being the oldest Benny Carter with 96 years old and the younger Chu Berry with 31.
Is it possible that saxophone playing influence this short life expectancy?

Perhaps it has to do with the type of mouthpiece they used? I think you should compare the names on that list with the mouthpiece they used to see if there is any statistically valid correlation between the two sets of data. I wouldn't be surprised if you find that the ones who died young used metal mouthpieces and the longer lived ones played hard rubber. Metal poisoning from years of sucking on a big chunk of a brass Link might very well have been the unrecognized cause of the early death of these men.
;)8-);)

harmonizerNJ
11-08-2008, 11:30 PM
^ or maybe it's the mouthpiece tip opening size, as opposed to the material of the mouthpiece. ;)

Fader
11-08-2008, 11:36 PM
playing the saxophone will not directly influence your lifespan, but perhaps what a certain music scene might expose you to (aka drugs and alcohol) does.


Whatever......It's enough to scare me.

















Now I need a drink :)

gwd1
11-08-2008, 11:37 PM
With apologies to Enviroguy, remember what Mark Twain said about the three types of untruths....

1) Lies

2) Damn Lies

3) Statistics

Bill Bryant
11-08-2008, 11:51 PM
I always thought the life expectancy of a sax player was inversely related to the quality of the bars he plays in.

hakukani
11-09-2008, 12:00 AM
With apologies to Enviroguy, remember what Mark Twain said about the three types of untruths....

1) Lies

2) Damn Lies

3) Statistics

He only said that because he didn't understand statistics. If everyone understood how they worked (starting with standard deviation, and ending with analysis of variance at least), we'd be saved a heck of a lot of confustion.

Bebopalot
11-09-2008, 01:51 AM
Years ago (1990's) I read an article in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) that warned reed players about putting so much pressure on arteries, especially around the neck and head and vital organs by forcing air through a small space. I don't remember the numbers but saxophonists, trumpeters, double reed players, clarinetist and such ranked very high on death due to constriction of arteries and aneurysms. I suppose if you combine that with a drug/drink lifestyle, it kind of makes sense.

Henshaw
11-09-2008, 02:14 AM
My post before was an personal observation, not a quote of statistics. I just thought it may be interesting to compare players of different styles.

Anyway, here is a interview done by Australian clarinet/sax/flute player Don Burrows that may be of interest to this discussion: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/stories/s74168.htm. I believe this may be related to the Medical article Bebopalot mentioned.

Bloo Dog
11-09-2008, 02:42 AM
Perhaps it has to do with the type of mouthpiece they used?
;)8-);)

Naw. Classical musicians have access to classier drugs, and less exposure to booking agents, club owners, and sound engineers.

And guitarists.

potiphar
11-09-2008, 08:59 AM
My dad lived to 85 but he played a lacquered sax (and didn't drink or do drugs). I think we should be told about the secreet cost of delacquering...

Alexk
11-09-2008, 10:25 AM
I feel that at 31, the sample is way too small....... Do more research.....

Some examples:
Freddy Gardener, died of a stroke aged 40 something, mending his kids bike......

King Curtis, murdered at around 50yo............

Boots, died at 81 was it? Stroke.

And my favourite Australian statistic: More people die each year playing lawn bowls than die riding motor bikes. :shock:

Durand
11-09-2008, 02:10 PM
Years ago (1990's) I read an article in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) that warned reed players about putting so much pressure on arteries, especially around the neck and head and vital organs by forcing air through a small space. I don't remember the numbers but saxophonists, trumpeters, double reed players, clarinetist and such ranked very high on death due to constriction of arteries and aneurysms. I suppose if you combine that with a drug/drink lifestyle, it kind of makes sense.

Well guys, sorry if I put a weird post, it was not my intention, but the comment of bebopalot is the type of reply that I wanted to get.
Thanks

martysax
11-09-2008, 02:44 PM
I have found that we tend to attract more Femme Fatales.

Mine's almost killed me a few times.

Face it, if we weren't so damn attractive to women we wouldn't have all the other issues.

Durand
11-09-2008, 03:34 PM
I have found that we tend to attract more Femme Fatales.

Mine's almost killed me a few times.

Face it, if we weren't so damn attractive to women we wouldn't have all the other issues.

:D

LOL

martysax
11-09-2008, 03:40 PM
:D

LOL

You would understand, based upon your location.

My wife is a Latina Loca! Who needs exercise with one of these! She's a walking heart attack!

Nuf said.

Durand
11-09-2008, 04:13 PM
You would understand, based upon your location.

My wife is a Latina Loca! Who needs exercise with one of these! She's a walking heart attack!

Nuf said.

Yeah Marty, I understand very well,
I have met some of these walking heart attacks sometimes. ;)

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 12:12 AM
A positive correlation does not necessarily indicate cause.

I think that lifestyle and genetics would have a larger influence than sax playing.

Spoken like an educational professional who actually enjoyed and passed the statistics and research methods course! ;)
It was the bane of my existence, but I did learn that you cannot prove a correlation unless you limit the variables, and there are clearly too many uncontrolled variables in this situation. For that reason, if you wanted to treat this as a legitimate research question you couldn't limit it only to sax players without data proving that the same connection couldn't be found for musicians playing other instruments, or for singers for that matter. Then you would have to do a study comparing Jazz musicians with Classical musicians to see how the death statistics compared for those two cohorts (I think that's the correct term) to see if it is playing music per se or where one plays it that can be identified as a contributing factor. More than likely such a comparison would show that classical orchestra musicians of the same era lived much longer on average than Jazz musicians (unless they bored themselves to death before nature could take its course :twisted:;)).

IMOHO as Haku said it is the lifestyle of jazz muscians of the day, along with race, gender and sociological/historical factors of that period that would have been more likely to have affected the life expectancy of the men in question. To prove it however, you would have to first find the average life expectancy for all men born in the same years as the saxophonists in question and compare the two sets of data. You would also have to compare the death statistics for classical musicians, jazz musicians in general and jazz saxophonists in particular with those of men in all other professions, according to date of birth and age at death in order to see if in fact musicians in general, or jazz musicians in particular, died any earlier than men in other professions.

If you look at the life expectancy tables for the period we are talking about here, i.e., for people born in first 35 years or so of the 20th century, I think you'll be surprised at how low their life expectancy at birth actually was. The following table is for New Jersey, which is the closest I could find to NYC where most of the great musicians played ( http://www.state.nj.us/health/chs/lifexp/index.html ):

http://www.state.nj.us/health/chs/lifexp/lifexp_files/image002.gif


If you look at the life expectancy for someone born in 1925, for example you see that at birth it was not much more than 55 years, all other factors being equal, which is almost exactly the actual average cited. But the above table is a generalized table for both sexes and all races, whereas actual life expectancy varies depending on gender and race.

As we all know men have a lower life expectancy than women and Blacks a lower life expectancy than whites. These trends of course can be affected in either direction by genetic factors as well as by environmental and occupational factors, and although without their names it is impossible to know the race of the musicians in the cited study, it is more than a fair estimation that the majority of those from that period were Black. Therefore their life expectancy at birth was already lower than that of a white sax player of the same period, for the factor of race alone.

Then, as mentioned by Haku, you have to look at the conditions that a Jazz musician or singer of that era was exposed to that might have affected that basic life expectancy and adjust accordingly. I believe this is what actuarial experts do and why they charge higher insurance rates for people who smoke, drink, take risks, and work at certain professions known to be harmful to one's health.

The saxophonists mentioned in the study cited by Durand all generally had to work at night in nightclubs and bars for the most part, and very often stayed up after their gig jamming or relaxing until the wee hours. This means that they were forced by their profession to be night owls and sleep during the day, whether their bodies could adapt or not. Such a lifestyle, at odds with the circadian rhythm, is by itself a factor that lowers life expectancy, possibly by 5 years, because it makes one more susceptible to disease and less able to withstand the effects of aging.

Furthermore, job insecurity and low pay have been shown to be factors which decrease life expectancy, and the Jazz life of the 30's through the 70's was, for the majority of musicians, an unstable and low paid scuffle to survive. That's something that clearly took it's toll on many of them.

Of course the working environment of jazz musicians, bars and nightclubs, was hardly ever designed with health in mind. Smoking, which was more prevelant then and encouraged rather than prohibited, had to have had an effect. Even if they themselves didn't smoke, just spending night after night, year in and year out, in smoke-filled environments caused them to ingest enough carcinogens to damage their health and decrease their life expectancy. And of course filling your lungs with smoke-filled air in order to blow a horn or sing, is guaranteed to do it even quickly. Then too, if on top of that they got into drinking or drugs, that just exacerbated the damage to their lungs and heart from the passive or active smoking, on top of the damage it caused to their liver.

In fact, many jazz musicians and saxophonists of that day didn't die young and not only lived longer than the fairly low life expectancy at birth, but a lot longer. Additional tables from N.J. (sorry, I couldn't get it to paste in the correct format) show that a man born in 1925 who was still alive at age 65, would have a further life expectancy of approx 15 years, i.e. until age 80.

So it's probably not so life-threatening to be a jazz musician after all, if you don't smoke, don't drink or do drugs, get some sleep and are lucky enough to have good genes. This is especially true now, since the average life expectancy is much higher.

If you are curious to find out your own life expectancy (and you might not want to depending on your lifestyle) here is a calculator for that purpose. http://www.peterrussell.com/Odds/VirtualAge.php .

Durand
11-10-2008, 01:28 AM
Here's the list I made. It can be corrected if it has errors:

Sidney Bechet-62
Coleman Hawkins-65
Frankie Trumbauer-55
Chu Berry-31
Ben Webster-64
Benny Carter-96
Johnny Hodges-63
Harry Carney-64
Adrian Rollini-52
Lester Young-49
Charlie Parker-34
Sonny Stitt-58
Sonny Criss-50
Paul Desmond-53
Stan Getz-64
Zoot Sims-60
Dexter Gordon-66
Gerry Mulligan-69
Al Cohn-63
Art Pepper-57
Hank Mobley-56
John Coltrane-40
Cannonball Adderley-47
Eric Dolphy-36
Albert Ayler-34
Stanley Turrentine-69
Roland Kirk-41
Michael Brecker-58
Lou Jordan-67
Earl Bostic-52
Grover Washington Jr.-56
Boots Randolph-88

Bebopalot
11-10-2008, 02:17 AM
If I may add one more. Warne Marsh. Not only died at 60 years of age but died while playing "Out of Nowhere" at Donte's nightclub. His death is what made me consider that the JAMA article I read might be true.

triadsarehip
11-10-2008, 05:33 AM
He only said that because he didn't understand statistics. If everyone understood how they worked (starting with standard deviation, and ending with analysis of variance at least), we'd be saved a heck of a lot of confustion.

37% of people who use statistics, don't truly understand the statistics they are quoting.

HSkid
11-10-2008, 06:37 AM
i know that all statistical and graphical data can be twisted to say or confuse people in believing that something which is incorrect is correct. but i do know that in general jazz trumpet players from the jazz era had a short life span.

Wisco99
11-10-2008, 07:20 AM
Having just turned 60 I decided that I have used up my 56 years of life as a sax player, and now I am probably good for another 56 as a flute player. See...playing more than one instrument has its advantages.
8-)
Wisco

Wisco99
11-10-2008, 07:22 AM
If I may add one more. Warne Marsh. Not only died at 60 years of age but died while playing "Out of Nowhere" at Donte's nightclub. His death is what made me consider that the JAMA article I read might be true.

I want to go out playing a solo on the song "Is That All There Is."

Wisco8-)

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the list, but in order to draw any conclusions we really have to know their cause of death if we can find it. I've added it for some of the men you listed, as well as listing other saxophonists not on your list.

Booker Ervin --- 39, kidney disease
George Adams -- 52, ???
Wardell Gray -- 35, found with a broken neck, possibly murdered
Don Myrick -- 53, shot by the LA police for holding a cigarette lighter
Hank Mobley -- 56, pneumonia due to chronic lung problems
Lester Young -- 49, liver disease due to severe alcoholism
Stanley Turrentine -- 66 (not 69 as listed), stroke
Grover Washington Jr. -- 56, massive heart attack
Pepper Adams -- 56, lung cancer
Gene Ammons -- 49, ??? (he used narcotics and spent 9 years in prison for it)
Albert Ayler -- 34, suicide caused by depression
Bob Berg -- 51, car accident while going to buy cigarettes in icy conditions
Cornelius Bumpus -- 58, heart attack while flying
Don Byas -- 59, lung cancer
Serge Chaloff -- 53, heroin addiction, cancer
Al Cohn -- 62, ???
King Curtis -- 37, murdered
Paul Desmond -- 52, lung cancer
Jimmy Dorsey -- 53, lung cancer
Sam Furnace -- 49, cancer
Paul Gonsalves -- 53, heroin overdose
Joe Harriott -- 44, cancer
Julius Hemphill -- 56, heart disease (?)
Roland Kirk -- 41, stroke
Harold McNair -- 39, lung cancer
Laurdine "Pat" Patrick -- 62, ???
Jim Pepper -- 50, lymphoma
Ike Quebec -- 44, lung cancer
Rudy Pompilli -- 51, lung cancer
Charlie Rouse -- 64, lung cancer
Willie Smith -- 56, cancer
Sonny Stitt -- 58, heart attack
Rudy Wiedoft -- 47, cirrhosis, after surviving a near-fatal stabbing by his wife (Martysax take note ;))
Barney Wilen -- 59, cancer
Chris Wood -- 39, pneumonia

If we can draw any conclusions, off the top of my head it appears that lung cancer was perhaps the most common cause of death among these saxophonists--clearly due to smoking and/or playing in smoke-filled places. So the message here is clearly that if you want to make it past 60, don't smoke and only play in clubs with a smoke-eating air purification system. And if you don't drink, do drugs, or marry women with access to sharp pointed instruments, you will more than likely avoid the other common causes of death, so can expect to be playing your axe until the sand in your individual genetic hour-glass runs out.

Alexk
11-10-2008, 09:18 AM
Lung cancer looks to be the No.1 killer in the above list.


Don Myrick -- 53, shot by the LA police for holding a cigarette lighter Err, WTF?:shock:

martysax
11-10-2008, 01:06 PM
Rudy Wiedoft -- 47, cirrhosis, after surviving a near-fatal stabbing by his wife (Martysax take note ;))


Funny you should mention that.

She's tried 3 times, but not a scratch on me, yet.:)

whaler
11-10-2008, 01:32 PM
Funny you should mention that.

She's tried 3 times, but not a scratch on me, yet.:)

She's bound to either get her aim together, or you will slow down enough that she will catch you.
At 51, I know that chasing women will kill you quicker than playing sax. But either way, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
It is like that old joke; If you quit smoking, drinking and womenizing, you will live longer, no, it will just feel that way!

heath
11-10-2008, 01:42 PM
The better study would be the modern day saxophonists. We've grown up in a much more health conscience era.

And of course there's the horn players that took a stand and decided to live a clean lifestyle.

Ultimately the lifestyle is what did these guys in. They aged themselves quick. I work in a hospital, I'm always suprised when I read the age of a patient that is younger then me (34) and they look like their 70 after a decade of hard living.

SAXISMYAXE
11-10-2008, 02:20 PM
Are you desirous to include unnatural deaths in your listing? Horn players such as Leon Chu Berry (died in a car accident) and Wardell Gray (likely died during a drug binge and was ditched in the desert, or was murdered), or indeed those who overdosed on drugs, wouldn't seem factor into such a study of natural life expectancy averages.

bjornblomberg
11-10-2008, 02:23 PM
Make another list including saxophonists born in later generations, say from 1950 on, and see what that average is.

If you take saxophonists born 1950 and later, the theoretical maximum would be 58 (in 2008) increasing to 59 next year, probably less. So we would have to wait for a few decades before we can conclude on that cohort... :-)
Bjorn

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 02:26 PM
Funny you should mention that.

She's tried 3 times, but not a scratch on me, yet.:)

I thought you said she packed a pistol.

harmonizerNJ
11-10-2008, 02:34 PM
I'm assuming this lowered life expectancy for sax players only applies if you are really good. Thank goodness this does not apply to me, since I am now as old as Cannonball was when he died.

bjornblomberg
11-10-2008, 02:36 PM
This is another great review of this topic from the British Medical Journal
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/319/7225/1612
Bjorn

Durand
11-10-2008, 02:55 PM
Are you desirous to include unnatural deaths in your listing? Horn players such as Leon Chu Berry (died in a car accident) and Wardell Gray (likely died during a drug binge and was ditched in the desert, or was murdered), or indeed those who overdosed on drugs, wouldn't seem factor into such a study of natural life expectancy averages.

Good point, but only if you want group only "natural death causes'.
I think that in general, the life expectancy worldwide includes all death causes (natural, accidents and suicides also)

Durand
11-10-2008, 03:04 PM
Thanks for the list, but in order to draw any conclusions we really have to know their cause of death if we can find it. I've added it for some of the men you listed, as well as listing other saxophonists not on your list.

Booker Ervin --- 39, kidney disease
George Adams -- 52, ???
Wardell Gray -- 35, found with a broken neck, possibly murdered
Don Myrick -- 53, shot by the LA police for holding a cigarette lighter
Hank Mobley -- 56, pneumonia due to chronic lung problems
Lester Young -- 49, liver disease due to severe alcoholism
Stanley Turrentine -- 66 (not 69 as listed), stroke
Grover Washington Jr. -- 56, massive heart attack
Pepper Adams -- 56, lung cancer
Gene Ammons -- 49, ??? (he used narcotics and spent 9 years in prison for it)
Albert Ayler -- 34, suicide caused by depression
Bob Berg -- 51, car accident while going to buy cigarettes in icy conditions
Cornelius Bumpus -- 58, heart attack while flying
Don Byas -- 59, lung cancer
Serge Chaloff -- 53, heroin addiction, cancer
Al Cohn -- 62, ???
King Curtis -- 37, murdered
Paul Desmond -- 52, lung cancer
Jimmy Dorsey -- 53, lung cancer
Sam Furnace -- 49, cancer
Paul Gonsalves -- 53, heroin overdose
Joe Harriott -- 44, cancer
Julius Hemphill -- 56, heart disease (?)
Roland Kirk -- 41, stroke
Harold McNair -- 39, lung cancer
Laurdine "Pat" Patrick -- 62, ???
Jim Pepper -- 50, lymphoma
Ike Quebec -- 44, lung cancer
Rudy Pompilli -- 51, lung cancer
Charlie Rouse -- 64, lung cancer
Willie Smith -- 56, cancer
Sonny Stitt -- 58, heart attack
Rudy Wiedoft -- 47, cirrhosis, after surviving a near-fatal stabbing by his wife (Martysax take note ;))
Barney Wilen -- 59, cancer
Chris Wood -- 39, pneumonia

If we can draw any conclusions, off the top of my head it appears that lung cancer was perhaps the most common cause of death among these saxophonists--clearly due to smoking and/or playing in smoke-filled places. So the message here is clearly that if you want to make it past 60, don't smoke and only play in clubs with a smoke-eating air purification system. And if you don't drink, do drugs, or marry women with access to sharp pointed instruments, you will more than likely avoid the other common causes of death, so can expect to be playing your axe until the sand in your individual genetic hour-glass runs out.

Thanks a lot for the info..
;)

Swampcabbage
11-10-2008, 03:15 PM
Fuul time performing pro's vs. educators vs. hobbyists? These would need to be factored. As well as practice/playing hours etc. then there's the hr vs brass mouthpiece discussion. ;)

Bebopalot
11-10-2008, 03:20 PM
Lung cancer looks to be the No.1 killer in the above list.

Err, WTF?:shock:

Lung cancer was the number one killer for everyone, for a while. Horn player or not. For a while there, we all thought having a cigarette was good for you!

martysax
11-10-2008, 03:30 PM
I thought you said she packed a pistol.

I have succeeded in keeping a gun out of her hands. It's the absolute last thing I would put in her hands, literally.

If there was a gun in the house I would have already appeared in the In Memory Of sub-forum.

Actually, I was listed in that sub-forum at least once. Long since deleted.

Bebopalot
11-10-2008, 03:36 PM
Fuul time performing pro's vs. educators vs. hobbyists? These would need to be factored. As well as practice/playing hours etc. then there's the hr vs brass mouthpiece discussion. ;)

.....and that is why stats don't mean much. You can't factor in every single little nuance in a persons life. How about position of the strap. What if some of these players put too much pressure on certain parts of their bodies by placing the strap in the wrong place, year after year! :D

martysax
11-10-2008, 03:47 PM
Whether he is Liquored or non-Liquored can change the tone and life expectancy of a saxophonist.

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 03:57 PM
Are you desirous to include unnatural deaths in your listing? Horn players such as Leon Chu Berry (died in a car accident) and Wardell Gray (likely died during a drug binge and was ditched in the desert, or was murdered), or indeed those who overdosed on drugs, wouldn't seem factor into such a study of natural life expectancy averages.
Everything that happens in nature is in fact natural by definition, whether seemingly accidental or with a clearer causal connection. For example, lung cancer is a likely natural outcome of smoking, and in fact life insurance companies have an actuarial table that adjusts the life expectancy of smokers accordingly. But it is also natural that some smokers never develop lung cancer, which might now be viewed as an accident in reverse, but their life expectancy will still be estimated lower. Interestingly, it was only up until recently that they claimed that there was no connection between smoking and cancer, so you could have said that those who died from smoking died by accident, especially since it wasn't their intention to have that outcome. Likewise, people who inject drugs have a natural possibility of shortening their lives through any number of negative aspects related to that activity: O.D.ing, getting AIDS or Hep C or getting killed due to the connection between hard drugs and the criminal world. Clearly their life expectancy will be shorter, but finding a method to factor it in is the problem and would require collecting and compiling stats for an enormous sample of addicts and users to do so. Likewise that's the problem with so-called accidental deaths due to driving or other risky behavior--it's hard to calculate the probabilities even though you know that the more you do it the better likelihood you have of dying as a result. Take the Steve "the Crocodile Man". Anyone watching him playing around with all those black mambas, cobras, komodo dragons, sharks, salt water crocs and other deadly creatures, day after day year in year out, knew he wasn't long for this world. He himself knew it. The problem is that you couldn't calculate when he was likely to buy the swamp by standard statistical methods because one person like that is too small a sample to get significant results from. If on the other hand, 10% of the population of Australia had the same occupation, you would eventually have enough data to calculate a life expectancy table for them.

In sum, if you want to calculate the life expectancy of any group, you have to collect data on all the causes of death and compare it to that from the general population to see what statistical differences, if any, there are. So for example, with death due to car accident, you would want to see if the death rate for that was statistically higher for the group in question compared to the general population. Logically, if in order to play gigs, a musician living in a rural area has to do a lot of driving at night to road houses out on the highway thereby putting himself at the mercy of carloads of drunken carousers at 2 or 3 a.m., he's statistically more likely to get killed or seriously injured than an office worker who takes public transportation to work, or a musician who plays in the Philharmonic or Opera orchestra in the city.

I included it all for that reason and simply because it is interesting in and of itself. Not to make light of his tragic early death, Bob Berg died when his car was slammed into by a big truck that skidded on the icy road. It was winter and he had gone out to get a pack of smokes. You can't draw any causal conclusions here, but was it an accident and merely bad luck , or could you conclude that if he hadn't needed his nicotine fix, he probably wouldn't have taken the risk of driving with such dangerous road conditions when the likelihood of that happening is greater?

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 04:01 PM
deleted: I responded to the wrong err, WTF? post

Al Stevens
11-10-2008, 04:10 PM
Probably most of them starved to death.

Swampcabbage
11-10-2008, 04:26 PM
Thanks for the list, but in order to draw any conclusions we really have to know their cause of death if we can find it. I've added it for some of the men you listed, as well as listing other saxophonists not on your list.

Bob Berg -- 51, car accident while going to buy cigarettes in icy conditions



I never knew this was why he was driving.

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 04:36 PM
I never knew this was why he was driving.

Well, that's what it says in wikipedia, if it's to be trusted.

Swampcabbage
11-10-2008, 04:45 PM
"On July 30, 1993, former 53 year old Phenix Horns member Don Myrick, whose saxophone could be heard not only on Earth Wind & Fire's albums, but also on albums from Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Dells, Regina Belle, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Heaven 17 and Phil Collins (it's Myrick's emotional sax on Collins' hit "One More Night"), was shot to death in Los Angeles, under circumstances that still remain a mystery to this day. Donald Myrick was shot by the LAPD when his home was raided by mistake, while police were serving a search warrant. Police said Officer Gary Barbaro fired one shot after mistaking a butane lighter in Myrick's hand for a weapon. Myrick was survived by his mother, wife, and three daughters. In 1995, their wrongful death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_death) lawsuit against the city was settled for $400,000."




Not to sound insensitive but could this (as well as Bob Berg's death) be considered at least partially related to smoking?

Rackety Sax
11-10-2008, 06:55 PM
If you take saxophonists born 1950 and later, the theoretical maximum would be 58 (in 2008) increasing to 59 next year, probably less. So we would have to wait for a few decades before we can conclude on that cohort... :-)
Bjorn

Gee, this is going to be weird - a topic on SOTW that I actually know something about, or used to anyway. I wonder if I can remember anything.

Life expectancy in a population is not a simple average of ages of death nor a forecast of how long a population is going to live. It's a statistical summary of current death rates, typically for a given year. So when the National Center for Health Statistics says that white male life expectancy in the U.S. in 2005 was 76.5 years (I'm making up the number), they mean that if the age-specific white male death rates that prevailed in 2005 were applied to a hypothetical cohort over their lives, their "average" lifespan would be 76.5 years of age. That's different than saying that white males born in 2005 will live, on average, 76.5 years. If death rates go down over time, the actual average lifespan will be longer than the nominal summary measure.

I'm not making any point, but don't let that keep you from arguing with me ;).

Al Stevens
11-10-2008, 07:15 PM
I had a close friend (RIP) who majored in actuarial sciences. When he graduated, he took a job with an insurance research firm. They showed him his office, a cubicle in a huge room full of cubicles with a mechanical calculator (these were the old days), and reams of graph paper. He sat there for a day then quit the job. He said he didn't know how anyone could actually do that every day all day. He became a computer programmer.

jrvinson45
11-10-2008, 07:39 PM
Deleted by self: Just dumb drivel.

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 08:00 PM
Don Myrick -- 53, shot by the LA police for holding a cigarette lighter

Err, WTF?:shock:

"On July 30, 1993, former 53 year old Phenix Horns member Don Myrick, whose saxophone could be heard not only on Earth Wind & Fire's albums, but also on albums from Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Dells, Regina Belle, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Heaven 17 and Phil Collins (it's Myrick's emotional sax on Collins' hit "One More Night"), was shot to death in Los Angeles, under circumstances that still remain a mystery to this day. Donald Myrick was shot by the LAPD when his home was raided by mistake, while police were serving a search warrant. Police said Officer Gary Barbaro fired one shot after mistaking a butane lighter in Myrick's hand for a weapon. Myrick was survived by his mother, wife, and three daughters. In 1995, their wrongful death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_death)) lawsuit against the city was settled for $400,000."

Durand
11-10-2008, 08:15 PM
Gee, this is going to be weird - a topic on SOTW that I actually know something about, or used to anyway. I wonder if I can remember anything.

Life expectancy in a population is not a simple average of ages of death nor a forecast of how long a population is going to live. It's a statistical summary of current death rates, typically for a given year. So when the National Center for Health Statistics says that white male life expectancy in the U.S. in 2005 was 76.5 years (I'm making up the number), they mean that if the age-specific white male death rates that prevailed in 2005 were applied to a hypothetical cohort over their lives, their "average" lifespan would be 76.5 years of age. That's different than saying that white males born in 2005 will live, on average, 76.5 years. If death rates go down over time, the actual average lifespan will be longer than the nominal summary measure.

I'm not making any point, but don't let that keep you from arguing with me ;).

Thanks for the explanation

Jazz Is All
11-10-2008, 09:52 PM
Not to sound insensitive but could this (as well as Bob Berg's death) be considered at least partially related to smoking?

O.K. I can't swear to the truth of that about Bob Berg getting killed while he went out to get cigarettes, because wikipedia is the only site that says it. All the others only say that he was out driving with his wife in a snowstorm when their car was hit by cement truck. :( If true however, it is kind of a sad reminder that people put their lives at risk for whims and inconsequential reasons. If true I suppose you could say by extension that his death was addiction related, since there really is no difference between needing to get some smokes and needing to score some dope. In either case you are controlled by a chemical necessity that causes you to do things that may very well result in an earlier death.

You couldn't say that about Don Myrick however, IMO, because when the LAPD came in looking for the guy they mistook him for it wouldn't have mattered what the object he had in his hand was--a cell phone, a wallet, an eyeglass case, a lighter, or a hard rubber mouthpiece--for them to shoot him. The fact that he was black and had an object in his hand was reason enough, so what got him killed wasn't really connected to his being a smoker but to the propensity of the LAPD to shoot first and ask questions later.

Bloo Dog
11-11-2008, 04:21 AM
Re: smoking and life expectancy.

My great uncle played saxophone AND he smoked. His wife would tell him all the time that if he kept smoking, something HORRIBLE would happen to him. He wouldn't heed her advice to quit.

Her words came true. One night, he was lying on the couch smoking and watching TV, and somebody broke into the house and shot him.

Dead at age 56.

Alexk
11-11-2008, 10:31 AM
Originally Posted by Jazz Is All
"On July 30, 1993, former 53 year old Phenix Horns member Don Myrick, whose saxophone could be heard not only on Earth Wind & Fire's albums, but also on albums from Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Dells, Regina Belle, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Heaven 17 and Phil Collins (it's Myrick's emotional sax on Collins' hit "One More Night"), was shot to death in Los Angeles, under circumstances that still remain a mystery to this day. Donald Myrick was shot by the LAPD when his home was raided by mistake, while police were serving a search warrant. Police said Officer Gary Barbaro fired one shot after mistaking a butane lighter in Myrick's hand for a weapon.

That pretty much explains that one; LAPD officer sees a black man with an object in his hand........ "Drop it; BANG! or I'll shot!"

michaelbaird
11-11-2008, 12:05 PM
It's the addictions, the alcohol, cigarettes and other lifestyle issues, the places you hang out etc.. Saxophone playing is healthy for your cardiopulmonary system especially when you play with loud guitar players. You have to really blow then to be heard; however not good for your hearing.

Jazz Is All
11-11-2008, 12:27 PM
I have succeeded in keeping a gun out of her hands. It's the absolute last thing I would put in her hands, literally.

If there was a gun in the house I would have already appeared in the In Memory Of sub-forum.

Actually, I was listed in that sub-forum at least once. Long since deleted.

I guess then that Lee Morgan's tragic and untimely death by gunshot at the hands of his common-law wife at Slug's served some purpose, if only as an instructive warning for others. The lesson is quite clear: don't call and ask the woman you are about to dump to bring your pistol to you at a gig if your new girlfriend is there with you. What was he thinking???

RootyTootoot
11-11-2008, 12:31 PM
What was he thinking???

"Life is overrated"? Or possibly "my ex is a doormat"? ;)

Jazz Is All
11-11-2008, 01:31 PM
"Life is overrated"? Or possibly "my ex is a doormat"? ;)

Since drugs were involved he clearly wasn't thinking clearly, if at all. Wikipedia summarized thusly:



On the evening of February 19, 1972, in the most famous murder in the Jazz world, Trumpeter Lee Morgan was shot by his common-law wife Helen More following an argument between sets at Slug's, a popular New York City jazz club. According to an interview with Billy Hart, Morgan had gotten into a dispute with a drug dealer after buying a large amount of cocaine. He called More and asked her to bring his gun to him at the club. More showed up, and spotted him with another woman, for whom Morgan was planning to leave her. An argument erupted, and Morgan kicked More out of the club. When she returned to retrieve her coat, which she had forgotten, Morgan got into a scuffle with her, and the gun went off. An ambulance was late in showing up, and Morgan bled to death. More was judged to be insane at the time of the shooting.


Here's the complete story in an audio interview with Billy Hart:

http://www.billyhartmusic.com/The%20Day%20Lee%20Morgan%20Died.mp3

Tim Price
11-11-2008, 02:01 PM
On the flip.....look at ;

NEWK

Herb Geller

Charlie Mariano

Carmen Leggio

Dick Johnson

or even Frank Wess


Sometimes, you must think about the " committment" to yourself, body and familys.

All those above guys _lived_thru the hardball eras too.

Think about it.:)

RootyTootoot
11-11-2008, 02:30 PM
Here's the complete story in an audio interview with Billy Hart:

http://www.billyhartmusic.com/The%20Day%20Lee%20Morgan%20Died.mp3

Fascinating and terribly sad. Thank you for posting that. :)

As Tim implies, may be better to dwell on the happier stories, though. Not sure. There certainly are quite a few sad ones..

whaler
11-11-2008, 03:39 PM
I heard that Don Myrick's family got some kind of settlement in his murder by police. It seems that the shooting took place in a "crack den".

jrvinson45
11-11-2008, 04:13 PM
On the flip.....look at ;

NEWK

Herb Geller

Charlie Mariano

Carmen Leggio

Dick Johnson

or even Frank Wess


Sometimes, you must think about the " committment" to yourself, body and familys.

All those above guys _lived_thru the hardball eras too.

Think about it.:)


Bud Shank, Phil Woods, and Huston Person aren't exactly spring chickens either.

Jazz Is All
11-11-2008, 04:22 PM
I heard that Don Myrick's family got some kind of settlement in his murder by police. It seems that the shooting took place in a "crack den".

False!! He was at home. Here is the news story about the incident which I just found. I find it always best to research the facts first to avoid disseminating falsehoods that can ruin someone's reputation. Think about it, if he had been in a crack house, would the City of LA have paid $400,000 and admitted that it was a wrongful death? If they shoot you in a crack house that fact alone is enough to make it a justifiable shooting.



Saxophonist Donald Myrick fatally shot in drug probe
Saxophonist Donald Myrick, who was part of The Phenix Horns Esq., a band that accompanied top acts like Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) and Phil Collins, was shot and killed by a Los Angeles, Calif. police officer during a drug investigation.
Myrick, who played saxophone in the group, was in his apartment in the Palms district of Los Angeles when officers arrived around 6 a.m. to serve a warrant as part of a narcotics investigation. Officer Gary Barbaro reportedly knocked on a sliding-glass back door and then entered with a key from the building management when no one answered.
Officer Barbaro then reportedly shot Myrick once in the chest when confronted by the 53-year-old musician, who held a black metal cylinder that the officer thought was a weapon. The metal cylinder was actually a starter used for lighting barbecue grills, Santa Monica Police Sgt. Gary Gallinot said.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, a search of the apartment turned up a small amount of rock cocaine.
At Jet press time, the shooting was being investigated by the Los Angeles and Santa Monica police departments and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Myrick's career began in Chicago, where in the late '60s he played with blues and jazz musicians, including Bobby "Blue" Bland, Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington Jr. and Carlos Santana.
Myrick played alto, tenor and soprano sax with EWF from 1975 through 1982.
His solo sax can be heard on EWF's single Reasons, Phil Collins' single One More Night and EWF's single Runnin,' which won him the 1977/78 Grammy for best R&B instrumental.
He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Johnson Publishing Co.

Jazz Is All
11-11-2008, 04:28 PM
Bud Shank, Phil Woods, and Huston Person aren't exactly spring chickens either.

Good point. For that reason I've compiled a list of all the greats who are still with us and their ages which I will post as a new thread. That way we can honor their musical contributions and their resistance to the inevitable. As the great pitcher Satchel Paige said, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

heath
11-11-2008, 04:54 PM
Something tells me if Lee Morgans wife hadn't killed him, Lee would have ended up dead a few years later anyway.

Didn't Billy Harper used to play and perform with Lee, I thought Harper was as clean as they come.

Jazz Is All
11-11-2008, 10:33 PM
Something tells me if Lee Morgans wife hadn't killed him, Lee would have ended up dead a few years later anyway.

Didn't Billy Harper used to play and perform with Lee, I thought Harper was as clean as they come.

Yes he did, and I think he was and still is. Here is a link to Billy's website. http://www.billyharper.com/ to see for yourself.

Lee Morgan is one of my favorite musicians and fortunately for us he had a prolific recording career starting when he was still a teenager. His albums with Art Blakey and with Jackie McLean are some of the best hard bop ever recorded.

Here are two videos of Lee's group with Billy Harper, Harold Mabern, Jymie Merritt and Freddie Waits in 1972. As one comment mentions these videos were shot just before he was killed. Beautiful music from a true giant of jazz who burned out way too young, so please give a listen

c9W7EvsIRkg&feature=related


QxaiEZsof3Q

heath
11-11-2008, 10:56 PM
Yes we all know Lee Morgan was incredible, but what a waste to flush all that talent down the toilet with drugs.

Jazz Is All
11-12-2008, 02:05 PM
I definitely agree. Unfortunately many people get sucked into using drugs and then they find it almost impossible to get out of doing it even when they want to.

Durand
11-12-2008, 02:16 PM
I definitely agree. Unfortunately many people get sucked into using drugs and then they find it almost impossible to get out of doing it even when they want to.

And that includes also Psychiatric drugs. They are even harder to get off

Thudmother
11-14-2008, 01:20 AM
I was curious about the expectancy of life of saxophonists and I made a list of some of the most famous saxophonists. I am impressed about the short life expectancy: 56 years. It is a list composed by 31 names from Sidney Bechet to Michael Brecker. Being the oldest Benny Carter with 96 years old and the younger Chu Berry with 31.
Is it possible that saxophone playing influence this short life expectancy?

Some sax players like the liquor. I also bet that playing in smoke-filled clubs on a regular basis doesn't help either. Hell, I'm a drummer AND a sax player, I should be dead already!!

martysax
11-14-2008, 01:51 AM
Hell, I'm a drummer AND a sax player, I should be dead already!!

At least half dead.

Would that make you a dead-beat sax player?

Bloo Dog
11-14-2008, 04:09 AM
On the flip.....look at ;

NEWK

Herb Geller

Charlie Mariano

Carmen Leggio

Dick Johnson

or even Frank Wess


Sometimes, you must think about the " committment" to yourself, body and familys.

All those above guys _lived_thru the hardball eras too.

Think about it.:)


Many musicians and poseurs and hangers-on romanticised addiction. Some got too deep to get out. We know their stories. Unfortunately, the guys who stayed the straight and narrow course aren't recognized for standing up to the stress and strain of being a pro and not resorting to drugs and alcohol. It is SOOOO easy to fall into the trap of the booze and drugs: late nights, free drinks at the bar, hangers-on who like to turn on the band so they can hang out and be cool by association. If enough of those people get into your life, you'll find yourself and your career a wreck.

The heroes are the ones who don't allow themselves to be distracted.

Didn't Newk do several laps with the horse, or is that a fairytale? I saw an interview in which he explained that his ten-year "disappearance" was NOT due to drug addiction but rather due to a need to gain critical skills which he missed as a self-taught musician.

lovesthesax
11-14-2008, 04:18 AM
I was addicted to KFC fried (chicken) for a year.
I was also addicted to textwist at some point
recently I was addicted to The West Wing

NOw i"M just addicted to playing the sax.

HSkid
11-14-2008, 06:02 AM
i think i found out why saxophones have a short life expectancy and i think that we have to blame the risky motor bikes that so many of us chose to ride. not because they are more dangerous but because of the stress of the stupid drives almost run the motorbikers over which leads to cigarettes booze and hard liven in a perfect progression always ending the tragic spiral with death. and it all started when you said flute is for wussies and took up sax. look who's laughing now.

glenlo
11-15-2008, 04:39 PM
I have always thought this from my childhood to today... some 40 yrs. My teacher played in the Dorsey band and had his horn! In the seventies we discussed this he was a well respected classical clarinet and of course swing band player ... the big ones. Later on in life I had heard he was shot by his neighbor .. they always fought over his practising all the time... he was quite the technician...That said I am 56 and in sax years thats 110! I think this how about the thousands of just regular wind/sax players out there?? The ones you never hear about... just look at a senior band.. and what about the Disneyland players at the magic kingdom?? DOnt forget the mouthpieces of the 20 - fifties were a lot of hard rubber Brillhardts... and of course the Rico reeds could have microscoptic splinters that go in your blood so small you cant see them untill they pile up and then you hit a high G and thats all she wrote! I think you may say the sax player might be the most laziest of the players... after all we usually do the best solo works and get a Prima Donna attitude that also reflects out lifestyles... of course the best comparison is that we usually get most of the girls and of course their boyfriends/husbands dont take kindly to that... or worse our current girlfriend dips our reeds in a slow untraceable poisen.... !
Better to blow in hell than listen in Heaven!

GAS_Wyo
11-15-2008, 06:47 PM
It's the addictions, the alcohol, cigarettes and other lifestyle issues, the places you hang out etc.. Saxophone playing is healthy for your cardiopulmonary system especially when you play with loud guitar players. You have to really blow then to be heard; however not good for your hearing.

Let's get back on this addictions topic for a moment. I wonder what the life expectancy of a sax player is compared to a violin player? When I played bassoon in orchestras, I'd observe many of the violinists nearly chain smoking after a concert and usually drinking scotch.

How about a banjo player? At bluegrass festivals I usually see those guys trying out the local moonshine (a whole pint jar = 'trying out') before a session. There is quite a group in this area of Wyoming (where coal is King) that brought their brand of 'liquid creativity' with them from the Appalachians (where I grew up).

Hard Rockers?

I'm beginning to think nearly all muscians drink and/or smoke and/or do drugs. Do we have addictions? There was another thread a while back that talked about the link between musicians and depression. Are musicians more susceptible to depression? (http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=56800&highlight=depression) Are we just a needy bunch?

heath
11-16-2008, 01:17 AM
GAS_Wyo that's the main issue of this topic for me as well.

The herd mentality. Gotta be like everyone else.

For the life of me I can't see why someone wouldn't be happy just showing up, playing some great music and splitting when the gig is over. Avoid all the garbage.

As far as depression. I suspect problems stack on top of problems. They keep themselves down and don't put forth the effort to climb out of the hole.

martysax
11-16-2008, 01:20 AM
I'd observe many of the violinists nearly chain smoking after a concert and usually drinking scotch.

Violinists are cool.

Durand
11-16-2008, 04:02 AM
Depression has so many causes that it is almost impossible to say that musicians are more susceptible to depression for the sole factor of drinking, smoking or drugs. It is known that these factors can cause depression in some individuals, but there are many many more.

gary
11-16-2008, 08:12 PM
Violinists are cool.

. . . and female cellists are weird and hot.

hakukani
11-16-2008, 10:01 PM
. . . and female cellists are weird and hot.

You met my first wife?:shock:

martysax
11-16-2008, 10:37 PM
. . . and female cellists are weird and hot.

Absolutely! Did you ever catch that movie with Laura Dern? Oy Guvalt!

Multi Reed
11-17-2008, 03:46 AM
I remembered a study where thiis exact thread has been looked at before...

It took some hunting but here it is. An article printed in the Australian Herald Sun newspaper (Melbourne)

Deadly blow to the sax
LONDON
Saxophone players are more likely to die for their art than other musicians, British researchers said yesterday.
The claim, published in the authoritative British Medical Journal, shows that among jazz musicians, playing the saxophone is a major health hazard because less blood is able to flow to the brain.
"Our studies showed that musicians tend to die quite young, but especially saxophonists," said Dr Sanjay Kinra, who carried out the research.
The association between woodwind . players, especially saxophonists, and mortality does have a plausible biological explanation, he said. "The saxophonists, like other wind instrument players, all use circular breathing — you fill your lungs and neck with air and you try to breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose.:
"That's pretty dangerous because you could argue that as they play, especially during long solos, they raise the pressure in the neck region, which can slow the blood flow to the brain (cerebrovascular ischaemia) or cause blood clots to form (thrombo-embolism)."
The researchers made a compendium of more than 800 jazz musicians born between 1882 and 1974 looking at life span, the instruments played and whether they played multiple instruments.
"Those playing the saxophone were two-and-a-half times more likely to die - - but that's just a pattern, we're not saying it's cause and effect," Dr Kinra said.
Musicians who divide their talent
between two or more instruments
were less at risk. REUTERS

Herald Sun, Saturday, December 18, 1999



What a great way to get funding dollars to be able to sit in jazz clubs, huh?

Durand
11-17-2008, 04:42 AM
I remembered a study where thiis exact thread has been looked at before...

It took some hunting but here it is. An article printed in the Australian Herald Sun newspaper (Melbourne)

Deadly blow to the sax
LONDON
Saxophone players are more likely to die for their art than other musicians, British researchers said yesterday.
The claim, published in the authoritative British Medical Journal, shows that among jazz musicians, playing the saxophone is a major health hazard because less blood is able to flow to the brain.
"Our studies showed that musicians tend to die quite young, but especially saxophonists," said Dr Sanjay Kinra, who carried out the research.
The association between woodwind . players, especially saxophonists, and mortality does have a plausible biological explanation, he said. "The saxophonists, like other wind instrument players, all use circular breathing — you fill your lungs and neck with air and you try to breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose.:
"That's pretty dangerous because you could argue that as they play, especially during long solos, they raise the pressure in the neck region, which can slow the blood flow to the brain (cerebrovascular ischaemia) or cause blood clots to form (thrombo-embolism)."
The researchers made a compendium of more than 800 jazz musicians born between 1882 and 1974 looking at life span, the instruments played and whether they played multiple instruments.
"Those playing the saxophone were two-and-a-half times more likely to die - - but that's just a pattern, we're not saying it's cause and effect," Dr Kinra said.
Musicians who divide their talent
between two or more instruments
were less at risk. REUTERS

Herald Sun, Saturday, December 18, 1999



What a great way to get funding dollars to be able to sit in jazz clubs, huh?

Wow,
I am starting banjo tomorrow

Durand
11-17-2008, 05:06 AM
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/319/7225/1612

here's the entire article,
there are some interesting comments also on the "response" area

heath
11-17-2008, 01:23 PM
Horse Crap.

Sure circular breathing places a temporary strain on the body, but a person doesn't do this for hours every day.

Your body will return to it's normal state as soon as you stop circular breathing.

Funny that they only looked at horn players up to 1974. There were lots of decades of players that completely trashed themselves out. Combine that with being a black musician, low income, not all that well educated and the statistics point to a short life span.

It's been shown that wealth and education are a much bigger factor in a persons longevity, mostly because these people have more drive then the guy/gal sitting on their rear end going no where shoving donuts and smoking all day.

Multi Reed
11-17-2008, 02:27 PM
Please don't misunderstand that by me posting a 'news' article that I agree with the article. I don't.

Durand
11-17-2008, 02:39 PM
Please don't misunderstand that by me posting a 'news' article that I agree with the article. I don't.

I know, I appreciate the post, very interesting to know that somebody has made a research about this theme

Dr G
11-17-2008, 05:45 PM
Please don't call it "research". Circular breathing does not increase the pressure in one's lungs - or any other part of the body.

Back pressure? Tell me about how any French horn players live past the age of 25. :shock:

I don't see aborigine didgeridoo players keeling over after playing for hours on end...

Hmmm, maybe there is no correlation. Hmmm, maybe there is no point.

potiphar
11-17-2008, 05:57 PM
I don't see aborigine didgeridoo players keeling over after playing for hours on end...



Aborigines tend to die young, and look old while they're doing it. But that may be more down to social deprivation than didge playing. Certainly it's a lot less work circular breathing on a didgeridoo than a saxophone, in my experience.

jrvinson45
11-17-2008, 06:08 PM
"Those playing the saxophone were two-and-a-half times more likely to die - - but that's just a pattern, we're not saying it's cause and effect," Dr Kinra said.


I consider myself to be rather pragmatic, so I find this statement a bit ridiculous. Although I have yet to study the population of musicians falling into the category of saxophone players, I would be willing to wager the 100% of the population in the category "musicians" will die. That would make it very unlikely that saxophone players are 2-and-a-half times more likely to die.