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John Tchicai, 76, jazz avant-garde leader in Europe

JOHN TCHICAI

Associated Press/file 2006

JOHN TCHICAI

COPENHAGEN — John Tchicai, a Danish saxophonist and pioneer of free jazz in Europe, died Monday. He was 76.

Mr. Tchicai moved to New York in 1963 and cofounded The New York Contemporary Five with Archie Shepp. He later became a leading figure of the jazz avant-garde movement in Europe. He also played with John Coltrane, Milford Graves, Carla Bley, and Steve Swallow.

Mr. Tchicai, who was born in Denmark, returned to Europe in 2001 and eventually settled in France. No cause of death was given, but Mr. Tchicai had been in a coma since suffering a brain hemorrhage in June.

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