Published:  01:25 AM, 15 January 2020

Les Baxter

Les Baxter

Leslie Thompson Baxter was an American musician and composer. After working as an arranger and composer for swing bands, he developed his own style of easy listening music, known as exotica. Baxter studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory before moving to Los Angeles for further studies at Pepperdine College.

From 1943 on he played tenor and baritone saxophone for the Freddie Slack big band. Abandoning a concert career as a pianist, he turned to popular music as a singer.

At the age of 23 he joined Mel Tormé's Mel-Tones, singing on Artie Shaw records such as "What Is This Thing Called Love?". He died on January 15, 1996 (aged 73) in Newport Beach, California, US. Baxter studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory before moving to Los Angeles for further studies at Pepperdine College.

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