Al Grey, 74, a jazz trombonist whose unique plunger-mute...

Deaths Elsewhere

March 27, 2000

Al Grey, 74, a jazz trombonist whose unique plunger-mute style was recorded on nearly 100 albums, died Friday in Phoenix. He had suffered from several ailments, including diabetes. Bass player Milt Hinton, who gained fame as part of the Cab Calloway Band, said Mr. Grey was certainly among the best of his generation. Mr. Grey played with a litany of jazz's elite during his career, including Benny Carter, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald.

Helen Venturelli, 86, whose family tragedy caused her to push for better benefits for widows of New York police officers and firefighters killed on the job, died March 15. She served as president of the Police and Fire Line of Duty Widows of New York City for 20 years, until 1997. Her police officer husband, Pasquale, was killed in the line of duty in 1943, leaving her with two young sons and a monthly pension of $125, with no increases for inflation.

The group, founded in the 1960s, held a series of demonstrations and, in 1962, won an increase in pensions equal to half the average monthly salary of a police officer.

Ross Russell, 90, founder of the small jazz label Dial Records, which released 78-rpm recordings of Charlie Parker, and also the author of a biography of the saxophonist, died Jan. 31 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Jack Roberts, 79, who lived and painted the cowboy way of life, died Wednesday in Carbondale, Colo. Roberts worked as a Western history illustrator for 50 years.

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