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Favorite trombonists

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Initial post: Oct 3, 2007 7:13:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 3, 2007 7:14:35 PM PDT
Okay, we've done reeds, trumpets, pianists, drummer, guitarists. How about the trombone? Who are you favorites, and why? Feel free to include under and over-rated, too.
Some favorites of mine:

Jack Teagarden
Miff Mole
Curtis Fuller
Bill Harris
Jimmy Cleveland (greatly under-appreciated)
Urbie Green
Frank Rosolino

I didn't mention J.J. because I didn't think he even needed mentioning.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2007 11:19:52 PM PDT
Jimmy Cleveland is an excellent choice. He made a few excellent records for Emarcy and then got lost to jazz in the L. A. studios as did Oliver Nelson and Earl Palmer.
Curtis Fuller is a friend of mine; his sister-in-law was my managing editor and we met on a number of occasions. He was music director for the Jazztet (originally his group), Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers and Count Basie and he was the only trombone soloist John Coltrane recorded with. That record was his first, Blue Trane. That's not a bad track record. His first day in New York, Charlie Parker ripped him off for drug money. Not his best day.
Seeing Jack Teagarden with Louis Armstrong play to 16 people on the afternoon dance at Steel Pier in Atlantic City was a revelation for a novice modern jazz fan.
Bob Brookmeyer and his valve trombone is one of my favorite sounds by himself or with Gerry Mulligan.
Now the zen question of the day is "After Chicago what is the second best trombone gig in rock and roll?" (I know Harold Betters hasn't recorded in years if he is still around.)
J. J. Johnson is still the king and the princes are listed above.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2007 11:37:04 PM PDT
Cleveland is right. He is now a real estate owner in Los Angeles. Jimmy is often thought to be a black american. . he is actually an American Indian. Just a bit of trivia. Jimmy is one of my favorites because he mastered all of the serious trombone techniques well before the hey day of Bill Watrous. Jimmy was exellent at the technique called "across the grain playing". That is a special way of playing using a combination of the natural trumpet style "bugle" effect harmonics of the instrument and also the motion of the slide. The deal is to use the slide opposite to the motion of the bugle thing. When moving up bugle-wise you move the slide out (down pitch) and thus you get a sort of rising scale effect. You can actually practice this so you get tetrachords which you can play up and down.

This is needed because the trombone does not have the advantage of valves like the trumpet. Trumpeters simply practice their scales and "voila!" They have fast patterns to use in jazz. The trombone player can practice scales till the sun don't shine, but he will not have the veloicty of a trumpeter or and alto sax. Add the technique like above or the other phenom - "doodle tonguing" and you have velocity.

Jimmy Cleveland is a great example of the modern trombonist using the utmost in technique and doing it tastefully. He and maybe Curtis Fuller are the better choice for the full-jazz players in the fifties and early sixties. Of course one should always try and seek out the other great masters (Teagarden, Rosolino, Watrous, Fontana). I'm especially fond of Urbie Green and Frank Rosolino. Both have a very natural feel where you know they are simply totally at home with what they are doing.

This is a great thread for this trombone player. Keep talking. There are many great bone players. They are also not talked about as much as Guitarists or Saxophone players.

Chris Tune
Los Angeles

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 5:18:59 AM PDT

Thanks for the wealth of information on the trombone. Wow, I never knew all that! You must be a player, right? Also enjoyed the trivia on Jimmy Cleveland. Yeah, I assumed he was Black.

I didn't include Bob Brookmeyer, another of my favorites, because valve trombone is a different instrument IMHO. Care to comment on this?

Just re-read the bit about cross-playing. Now I get it.

Yeah, Urbie Green! He spans both swing and bebop. Gotta hear more of him.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 8:01:40 AM PDT
ND.NY says:
Recently, I went to see Larry Willis at Smoke's and I have to say that I was treated to marvelous trombonist with tone, technique, style and swing. His name was Steve Davis. I have to admit that I completely missed out on this man's music for far too long. The man could PLAY!!! Outstanding tone.

I hadn't really heard anyone that impressed me that much on the instrument for some time. The ones previously mentioned in this thread are great ones but I felt Steve Davis should get some props among the current ones.

Steve Turré is another one. Rambunctious, hard driving, swinging. This guy can play a wide variety of styles. More should be made of his trombone playing than the conch shell thing, which is unique but an ancillary thing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 10:05:05 AM PDT
Attar1 says:
Wycleef Gordon
Slide Hampton
Melba Liston

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2007 11:07:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 4, 2007 11:09:36 AM PDT
This was a tremendously informative post. All power to your elbow from both a musical and literary point of view. There should be more mosts of this nature. I just wish I could play my bone which gathers dust in my spare bedroom.
I have to throw a few names into the pot like Ray Anderson who seems to do magical things with his horn. I saw him once with the George Gruntz International Jazz Orchestra. I must mention Thurman Green of whom I have one scarce CD on the Mapleshade label. He is with Hamiet Bluiett, the late John Hicks, Walter Booker on bass Steve Williams on drums and Steve Novosel on bass. The CD is entitled "Dance of the night creatures" which tune is featured on the CD and is an original by Thurman. I wish I could find more recorded work by this guy. Let's not forget Albert Mangelsdorff, Vic Dickinson, Tricky Sam, Jimmy Knepper or Grachan Moncur III. There's a lot of guys still to be mentioned.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2007 1:45:07 PM PDT
Yes...Curtis Fuller,J.J. Johnson,Bennie Green and Slide Hampton

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2007 6:15:23 PM PDT
M. Murphy says:
JJ yea Turre now but Joshthe future!] Amazing stuff!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2007 9:13:54 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Nov 21, 2007 1:14:45 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2007 9:41:01 PM PDT
Can I add Al Grey? He personally taught me how to use a plunger as a mute, and what made it sound right. ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 1:30:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 10, 2007 2:52:12 AM PDT
Mikey O. says:
I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Kai Winding, I know there is not a lot of material under his own name , but that beautiful, subtle sound on "Birth of the Cool" speaks for itself.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 4:13:36 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Nov 21, 2007 1:14:07 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 9:44:22 AM PDT
The Shadow says:
How could you have over looked Jimmy Knepper? Haven't you listened to Charles Mingus' "AH Um?"

If it wasn't for Jimmy, songs like "Better Git it in Your Soul", "Boogie Stop Shuffle" and "Fables of Faubus" wouldn't be the classics there are today.

Jack Teagarden may have had the smoothest slide-but Jimmy Knepper is all over his ax!! Time to get wise folks and give "AH Um" a listen and hear who is real (My man Jimmy-that's who!!)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 9:59:56 AM PDT
M. Murphy says:
I agree on Knepper shadow.Great sideman for ole Charles. Josh Rosemen is the name I was searching for earlier.Young New York dude. Very ecclectic. Check out his crazy "Nightwalker" cd. Insane! Has anybody mentioned Dave Hollands guy Eubanks or the bag band guy John Fedchock. Tasty stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 11:06:01 AM PDT
let's add Fred Wesley. or is our definition of jazz unduly restrictive?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 1:20:03 PM PDT
Flanagan played slide. He has (had?) a record on Capitol.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 2:44:02 PM PDT
stevign says:
"Who knows what trombone player lurks in the heart of Mingus, the Shadow knows"!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 5:18:12 PM PDT
coolslider says:
Great list.Tommy Dorsey deserves to be included here also Vic Dickinson and the British trombonist Don Lusher.Check out The Britt Woodman clip on Utube was that a high note right out at the end of the slide. I know he is a minority taste and maybe lacking in the finness of those listed but Kid Ory was the one that first inspired me to take up the sliphorn. Coolslider Ireland

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 7:08:03 PM PDT
AGM says:
Some current bone players I really dig:

Roswell Rudd-- you really need to check him out; not just a terrific player, but an adventurous musician.

Conrad Herrwig- check out the Latin Side of Coltrane to start.

Steve Turre- making great music for years-- and a sharp dresser too!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 7:34:55 PM PDT
I'd forgotten about Jimmy Knepper and the amazing work he did with Mingus around the time of the "Ah, Um" album.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 8:30:13 PM PDT
stevign says:

You can also catch him on "Big Band Charles Mingus",,,excellent! (said in my best Mr. Burns' voice) lol

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 8:49:52 PM PDT
Dude- Bill Watrous is truly amazing, and get's rarely a mention lately. He's been at the game since he was a teenager on The Jack Benny radio band. He currently teaches at USC- check out his work- a technical master, and plenty of soul. His forte's are sambas.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 10:19:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2007 10:22:02 PM PDT
Warren Weise says:
I have enjoyed the music of Rosolino, Bob Brookmeyer, JJ and Kai, Phil Wilson, John Fedchock, Urbie Green, Carl Fontana...all the names we all know and love. But the cat who plays more trombone than I've EVER heard is alive and well on the west coast....Bob McChesney. Beautiful sound, more technique than should be legal, swings like ca-razy and has a very sophisticated harmonic concept that always keeps his solos fresh and interesting. You can check him out in big band recordings by Chris Walden, Bob Florence and other west coast groups. Amazing would be a good description. Warren

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 10:50:41 PM PDT
Josh Roseman actually seems to be breathing life into jazz through his trombone! Not all of it is crazy- though that stuff is fantastic! There's an import album out by Christopher Hale Ensemble that has some beautiful classics and quiet stuff like Don Sebesky used to arrange for KUDU Records in the 1970s. Also, he worked with Lester Bowie on his album Cherry! I'll listen to anything Josh records and thank him for sharing that creativity.
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Discussion in:  Jazz forum
Participants:  122
Total posts:  601
Initial post:  Oct 3, 2007
Latest post:  Aug 6, 2014

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