Acclaimed musician George M. Roberts has died aged 86.

Roberts passed away on Saturday (27Sep14) in Fallbrook, California after suffering complications from pneumonia. He had also been battling multiple sclerosis.

Roberts was known as 'Mr. Bass Trombone' in the music industry, having played on more than 6,000 recordings over his 50-year career.

He was an in-demand session player in Los Angeles from the 1950s through until the 1980s, and he worked with music greats including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.

Roberts also recorded two solo albums, the second of which, movie composer John Williams served as the arranger and pianist.

Williams went on to hire Roberts to play on many of his film scores, including Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Roberts also appeared in the orchestras which recorded themes for U.S. variety programmes including The Rosemary Clooney Show and The Dinah Shore Show, as well as the Academy Awards and President John F. Kennedy's inauguration ceremony in 1961.