Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band is minus a saxophone player today, and the world of popular music is the loser. Clarence Clemons, aka “The Big Man,” passed away following a stroke earlier this week. According to Fox News:

The saxophone player for the E Street Band died Saturday night due to complications of a stroke he suffered earlier this month.

Clarence Clemons, 69, was considered a major influence for Bruce Springsteen and played with him for decades. Springsteen said Clemons lived a wonderful life in a statement.

“He carried within him a love of people that made them love him,” he said. “He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage.”

Springsteen called Clemons a great friend and partner.

Clemons was called the “Big Man” because he was 6-foot-5-inch and 270-plus pounds. Perhaps built more for football than the sax.

But play the sax he did. And his solos became a signature sound for the E Street Band on many key songs, including “Jungleland,” a solo he spent 16 hours perfecting, and “Born To Run,” Newscore reported.

Clarence’s sax solos formed on Springsteen’s first half dozen albums were part of the music of my youth, and I’ve retained my love for his playing through the years. I’d like to say good-bye by remembering perhaps his finest solo, from the Born to Run album: