Jazz Music's Grover Washington Jr. Dies After TV Performance

Jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., a major influence on such contemporary players as David Sanborn and Kenny G., died in New York City late Friday evening, shortly after taping a segment for CBS' "Early Show."

Washington, who composed the themes to the TV series "The Cosby Show" and "Moonlighting," collapsed in his dressing room and was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt hospital after suffering a heart attack, according to Reuters.

Upon hearing the news of Washington's death, President Clinton issued a statement in which he mourned the loss of what he called "one of the United States' greatest musicians," and who had played for the president in the past.

"I will always be grateful for the honor of playing saxophone with Grover back in 1993, after a White House Jazz concert," the statement read, "and for the wonderful music he performed at my inaugural celebrations and my 50th birthday celebration."

Washington Jr. was credited with helping popularize

the fusion of soul and jazz music in the '70s and '80s, and is perhaps best remembered for his reworking of Bill Withers' "Just The Two Of Us."

In addition to his own solo albums, Washington also played with the likes of Roberta Flack and T.S. Monk, and also contributed licks to En Vogue's 1990 debut album, "Born To Sing."

The saxophonist was in New York to promote a new compilation of his work, "Prime Cuts: The Greatest Hits 1987-1999." After some internal debate, CBS eventually decided to air Washington's segment on Saturday, marking his final performance.