UPDATE: Jazz Saxophonist Rob Vineberg Implicated in Selling Heroin that Killed Philip Seymour Hoffman
The presence of heroin in the jazz has always proved staggering. It claimed the life of greats like Charlie Parker, and now, less than great saxophonist Robert Vineberg is suspected to have sold the lethal dose of heroin that took Philip Seymour Hoffman's life.
Interestingly enough, Vineberg turned to smack dealing due to a washed up career as a session player (and maybe a stint or two with James Chance's Contortions). How often has this story been told, and how many dealers in the New York City have taken to the dope show for similar reasons?
If convicted, Vineberg will serve a sentence of 25 years for felony possession of heroin with intent to sell. In the two apartments where Vineberg resided, officials claim more than 275 packages of the drug were discovered.
Vineberg isn't just some junkie dealer, though. His accolades include horn arrangements and saxophone on Blondie's The Hunter (1982), flute and tenor playing on David Bowie's Let's Dance ('83) and again on Changesbowie ('90), Mick Jagger's Goddess in the Doorway (2001), as well as several efforts by Wyclef Jean over the last few years.
Back in the 1940s, you might recall, trumpeter Joe Guy supplemented his work with dope deals, too, which he most famously supplied to Billie Holiday during their affair.
Yeah, it's a travesty to have lost such a brilliant actor as PSH, but the dealings of Vineberg and his heroin game only prove we can bank on similar situations arising again.
Here, then, are Vineberg's contributions to the horn section on Blondie's The Hunter. A talented man, indeed.© 2016 The Classical Art, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.