Alto Reed, the longtime saxophone player for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, died Wednesday of complications from colon cancer. He was 72.

Reed’s notable performances with the Silver Bullet Band include the introduction to “Turn the Page” and his saxophone solo in “Old Time Rock and Roll.” On stage, Reed was Seger’s visual foil with his eye-catching performances, blowing two saxophones at once, playing maracas and timpani behind the drummer during “Come to Poppa” and duck-walking across the stage during his extended solos for “Horizontal Bop.”

“I loved him like a brother,” Seger said in a statement. “I may have been the leader, but he was our rock star. He was the audience favorite, hands down. He was bold and worldly. I learned so much from the guy. And he was a great ambassador to the fans. He took time for everybody, any picture, anywhere. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Born and raised in Detroit, Reed first collaborated with Seger in 1971, sitting on sessions for his 1973 album “Back in ’72.” He became a founding member of Silver Buller Band in 1974 and remained one of mainstays along with bassist Chris Campbell.

Beyond his work with Seger, Reed recorded soundtracks for two of Jeff Daniels’ films, “Escanaba in Da Moonlight” and “Super Sucker,” and teamed up with other musicians including Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent, Little Feat, Foghat, Dave Mason, Spencer Davis, the Blues Brothers, George Thorogood, Robin Gibb and Motor City Horns. In 2008, Reed performed the “Hawaii Five-0” theme with theVentures at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, during the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

A longtime fan of Detroit’s sports teams, Reed often played the national anthem during professional sporting events.

Reed is survived by partner Christiana Van Ryn, four children, Chelsea Reed Radler, Jon Radler, Victoria Reed and Erik Deutsch, a grandson, a sister and ex-wife Monica Reed.

The family requests that donations be made in Reed’s name to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Detroit Harmony Fund, which provides instruments to music students in Detroit.