Irwin, Cecil, jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger; b. Evanston, Ill., Dec. 7, 1902; d. near Des Moines, Iowa, May 3, 1935. Irwin was with the Carroll Dickerson Orch. (c. 1924-25), then with Erskine Tate, the Cafe de Paris Orch. (Chicago, 1927), and Junie Cobb before joining Earl Hines in December 1928 as tenor saxophonist/ arranger. He freelanced on numerous recordings in the 1920s. Other than brief absences, he remained with Earl Hines until the time of his death in an accident. He was killed instantly when the Hines’s band coach was involved in a crash near Des Moines. Hines attempted, unsuccessfully, to recruit Lester Young as a replacement.
—John Chilton, Who’s Who of Jazz/ Lewis Porter