Seminal black British 1980s big band Jazz Warriors tenor saxophonist Ray Carless an old school friend of singer Cleveland Watkiss from his Hackney childhood and with whom he appeared on the 2022 release The Great Jamaican Songbook has died at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer. Carless in recent years worked with the Skatalites and Cymande and with lovers rock great Carroll Thompson.
His career straddled funk and he also played with Beggar & Co and Light of The World and with reggae acts such as Black Slate and Janet Kay. With Jazz Warriors he appeared for instance on Out of Many One People the Warriors 1987 Antilles album on the tracks 'Minor Groove' and 'Many Pauses'. And before that he played soprano on Incognito's Jazz Funk 1981 debut album on 'Shine On' among other tracks. Carless was also on Courtney Pine's debut Journey to the Urge Within playing baritone saxophone on 'Miss Interpret' and 'When, Where, How and Why'. As a session player he worked on Adele's 21. BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Dotun Adebayo paid tribute to Carless on today's show.