Grover Washington Jr. (December 12, 1943 â€“ December 17, 1999) was an American jazz-funk / soul-jazz saxophonist. Along with John Klemmer, George Benson, David Sanborn, Bob James, Chuck Mangione, Herb Alpert, and Spyro Gyra, he is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of the smooth jazz genre.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Washington made some of the genre's most memorable hits, including "Mr. Magic", "Black Frost", and "The Best is Yet to Come". In addition, he performed very frequently with other artists, including Bill Withers on "Just the Two of Us" (still in regular rotation on radio today) and Phyllis Hyman on "A Sacred Kind of Love". He is also remembered for his take on a Dave Brubeck classic, called "Take Five", and for his hit "Soulful Strut".
Washington played on black nickel-plated saxophones including a SX90R alto, SX90R tenor, and soprano.