by Peter Aaron
Hugh Abdullah Rashid Brodie was born in Warren County, North Carolina, in 1933. A cousin of the great Ella Fitzgerald, he played clarinet, flute, and sang but was mainly known for his work on the tenor and soprano saxophones. His discography is, regrettably, thin, and the few records he made are misguided commercial jazz funk exercises instead of the robust hard bop he’s known for; hopefully, some more representative archival recordings will emerge in the years to come. Brodie played for a time in the Illinois Jacquet Big Band and lived in Monticello, was a regular presence on the Hudson Valley jazz scene. He leaves behind a wife, three daughters, a granddaughter, and three great-grandchildren.
Here he is leading his Cosmic Ensemble at the Falcon in 2007:
A celebration of Hugh Brodie’s life and music will take place at the Falcon in Marlboro, New York, on a future date. For more information, call (845) 236-7970 or visit http://www.liveatthefalcon.com/.