Myron “Micky” Golomb, a legendary local jazz saxophonist, educator, enthusiast, and mentor to many younger players and major figure on the Westport jazz scene, died March 2 at home. He was 87.
Born Nov. 19, 1931 in Brookline, Massachusetts, he and his family moved from Brookline to New Rochelle in the late 1940s, affording him access to the New York jazz scene.
He was able to hear some of the legendary musicians whose music influenced his own: Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Lester Young and Stan Getz, to name a few.
He hoped to become an Air Force flyer during the Korean War, but when an officer found out he played saxophone, he was given the choice of KP duty or joining the Air Force band.
He played in the band during his entire time in the service, including a very fondly-remembered year in Iceland.
He enjoyed a long career as a saxophonist, chiefly tenor, working steadily in jazz bands, ensembles, and the occasional big band, notably Art Mooney and Jimmy Dorsey’s orchestras.
In 1987, he toured Italy with a sextet billed as “veterans of jazz,” but for the bulk of his career he played in New York City, Fairfield County, and Westchester.
His long-term engagements included playing and singing in ensembles at the Westport Inn and Le Coq Hardi in the Stamford Plaza Hotel.
One of his joys was playing with his contemporaries at the monthly jam sessions hosted by the late Ginny Avery in Port Chester. Most recently he was a member of the Y’s Men and sang with the Hoot Owls.
He ran Regency Music Studios in Rye for over 20 years and then served as director of the music division of the Rye Arts Center until his retirement. He taught sax and clarinet to many young aspiring musicians.
Blessed with perfect pitch, he also tuned and repaired pianos for individuals and businesses throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties.
He met Katherine, a now-retired library administrator, in 1973 when a friend brought her to the club where he was playing. They married in 1978 and lived on Nash’s Pond in Westport for many years.
Micky loved cruising and sailing on Long Island Sound. He had a succession of sailboats named to reflect his love of music: Adagio, Sea Melody, Coda, and the last one, Fine (pronounced fee’-nay), a musical term that marks the end of a composition or movement.
The joy of making music was in Micky’s life from beginning to end, and he had a song lyric for every occasion. He would often break into song.
One of his favorites in recent years was Sinatra’s “My Way,” which he was still singing days before he died. To paraphrase that song, Micky lived a life that’s full, he traveled each and every highway, and he did it his way.
He is survived by his wife Katherine, daughter Liorah, stepdaughters Diane, Rachel, and Rebecca Paxton, and grandchildren Martha and Toby Stewart. He was predeceased by his son Kenneth. Micky was loved by many and had several lifelong friends.
Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate tax-deductible donations to the Jazz Society of Fairfield County for the Micky Golomb Memorial Fund (http://jazzfc.org/micky-golomb). The fund will help provide educational and performance opportunities for student musicians.
The Jazz Society of Fairfield County said the Micky Golomb Memorial Tribute Concert will be held on Thursday, March 21 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Pearl at Longshore.
The concert will be presented by Greg Wall, playing Micky’s Selmer SBA tenor sax, together with Micky’s longtime collaborator Chris Coogan on the famous 1937 Steinway Model M, formerly of New York City’s Village Gate Jazz Club. Performing with them are bassist John Mobilio, and drummer Jim Royle.
Micky’s surviving bandmates and collaborators will join in during the second set.