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Lennie Niehaus, Jazz Player and Composer for Clint Eastwood Films, Dies at 90

Lennie Niehaus, Jazz Player and Composer for Clint Eastwood Films, Dies at 90

Lennie Niehaus, who went from Stan Kenton sideman to Clint Eastwood’s movie composer during a nearly 60-year career in music, died Thursday at his daughter’s home in Redlands, Calif. He was 90.

Niehaus’s two dozen films for Eastwood include original scores for the best picture-winning Western “Unforgiven,” the Charlie Parker biopic “Bird” and the popular romantic drama “The Bridges of Madison County.”

The two met in 1953 at California’s Fort Ord, when the two were in the Army during the Korean Conflict. “I used to play jazz jobs at one of the beer clubs on the base, and Clint was tending bar,” Niehaus wrote in an essay about the actor-director for his 1996 American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. “I used to go off post and play in a little jazz club in nearby Santa Cruz on Sunday afternoons, and he would be there.”

Niehaus’s Army service interrupted

See full article on Variety