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Jazz pianist, arranger Paul Smith dies

LOS ANGELES – Paul Smith, a jazz pianist, composer and arranger who worked with such greats as Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole and Dizzy Gillespie, has died at 91.

Publicist Alan Eichler told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1cKQSCX ) that Smith died Saturday at a Torrance, Calif., hospital.

Smith began studying classical piano when he was 8 and joined a professional band in his teens.

During a long career, he recorded more than five dozen albums with his own groups and accompanied many performers, including Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and the Andrews Sisters.

Smith also arranged and performed TV and movie scores as a studio musician. He spent more than 25 years as pianist and music director for “The Steve Allen Comedy Hour.”

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