George Handy

Howie Leess, 82; Versatile Saxophonist

09/19/2003
Staff Writer
  Among klezmer and chasidic music circles, reedman Howie Leess was known as "the mountain goat."    The saxophone player "created harmony lines that were so apropos and actually adventurous, he climbed the tune like a mountain goat," said the pianist Pete Sokolow, who first met Leess in the 1960s when they played together in Jewish ensembles like Sy Kushner's Mark III and the Epstein Brothers Orchestra.     "He had ears like nobody's business," Sokolow recalled this week.
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