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George Shearing

Al Baitch, saxophonist

Al Baitch, saxophonist

Abraham "Al" Baitch, a musician recalled as one of Baltimore's finest saxophone players, died March 24 at Northwest Hospital after suffering a fall. The Pikesville resident was 89.

During his 70 years in the local entertainment scene, Mr. Baitch was a fixture at nightclubs, where his onstage antics earned him the nickname "Madman." He headed the house band for WJZ-TV's "The Buddy Deane Show" in the 1950s and 1960s.

"We played everywhere, from The Block to the French Embassy in Washington," said John Baxter, a piano player who worked alongside Mr. Baitch for 42 years. "He had friends everywhere, but in front of an audience, he was...