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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceOther Musicians and Ensembles(Moderator: blast) Your list of important jazz trombone players with complete motivation
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watermailonman

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« on: Jan 08, 2016, 05:04AM »

Let's say we only list five players and we list them of no special order and make it bold. The criteria is they must be the first and best within a direction within a style/language/technique and they must have been recorded and their records must have been spread world wide or at least available to people in the western world. The list shall only include names of jazz trombone players.

Name is to the left and to the right the motivation of the jury (You alone)

Jack Teagarden - first best fluent jazz trombone player recorded.

JJ - first best technical swing jazz style player (pre. bebop) ever recorded.

Tommy Dorsey - first best really successful leader to play sweet trombone with his own big band that was recorded,

Albert Mangelsdorf - first best avant garde jazz player that was recorded.

Frank Rosolini or Carl Fontana - first best advanced doodle-tongue jazz trombone players who really mastered the early bebop style on the trombone that was recorded.


...ooops I just made a list of six persons but with five motivations. This means either Rosolini or Fontana must go. Yea, this is a challenge. It breaks my heart to be forced to remove either of them. I don't know who recorded first as a solo player, but probably anyone at the forum knows this and then the choice is easy. This is how it works. I leave it as an example for now, but the one who recorded first will remain on my list and the other one must go.

Of course first best is very subjective. This is on purpose. My meaning is not the first recorded but the first and best recorded, by your choice.

Try to keep it simple.

Try to find few names, one name of each category WITH something you believe to be a good motivation. If you have to do a longer list then do what you have to do...

It is allowed to steal someones motivation or a part of it, this just means you agree to what someone else is saying or you use the same motivation but promotes another name.

Naturally by giving away your inner thoughts you will also be attacked for not having enough facts and you take a risk to be called on that ;-) and... yes this is what is wonderful. This is what sharing is all about.

This could be worth the debate but to just list a lot of names without any motivation for each name is not going to educate anyone but the few who are in the beginning of their listening journey, the ones who don't know anything about jazz trombone players and just needs a couple of names to check up on.

/Tom
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 08, 2016, 11:52AM »

I have a couple of opinions regarding your list, as it pertains to Jazz Trombone

It would be easy to make a long list with every great jazz trombonist because, hey, the fact that they manage to play any music on the damn thing is a significant accomplishment.  That said it would of course become un-wieldy very quickly.

As far as descriptions:
JJ is considered the first (and the recorded evidence largely supports this) trombonist to translate the bebop language to the trambone. Early JJ (with Snookum Russell, Benny Carter and Basie) was definitely Swing oriented, but his stuff with Parker (and after that) is pure bop. tWhile there are quite a few swing and "proto-bop" guys who influenced him (Tommy D, Jack T and Fred Beckett to name three), JJ is definitely the first bebop guy. He first recorded with Parker in 47, and he was doing his own 4tet stuff too (his savoy stuff came out in '49 although he was performing with the guys from minton's before that.)  Keep in mind bebop isn't just characterized by "a lot of notes" - it's a linear approach using a more sophisticated harmonic language where color tones (extensions) tend to become important parts of the melody and not just passing tones. This is one of the reasons why most jazz trombonists put him ahead of Ros in terms of innovation. Ros's approach can really be seen as more of an extension of the swing era guys (more arpeggiation) while JJ's style was more linear. They are both very clearly playing be-bop; but you can not discount JJ's influence here nor deny him credit as being the first major be-bop innovator (not to mention a huge and highly under-rated component of the Hard-Bop movement which followed.)

Ros and Fontana - I can see why you'd group these guys together, they played in Kenton's band together, and they are obviously influenced by the same guys, but their approaches are pretty different. Fontana relied almost exclusively on a smooth doodle approach where Ros's approach seems much more articulate, more single and double tongue. Their importance isn't so much in terms of developing a style or a body of work as much as it is establishing a technical paradigm, further solidifying JJ's in-roads into bop, as it were.

Jack's importance can't really be over-stated; he destroyed the stereotype of the "tailgate" trambone, the loud belligerent drunken uncle of jazz (that characterization is why i love playing tailgate more than just about anything else, but i digress.) Tommy Dorsey cites him as his biggest influence, and you can draw a straight line through Jack, TD, JJ, and every modern trombonist from there.

Kid Ory kind of needs to be on there, and one could definitely make an argument about a number of other performers of traditional jazz, but Kid Ory's significance historically puts him there. I understand you're saying "first best recorded" but historical significance is not necessarily attached to the best audio recording - early jazz isn't known for being hi-fidelity. And some of our "firsts" are probably going to disagree - I understand European musicians have a different view of our music so that could also be a source of disagreement - but why make lists if not for the disagreement they inspire :D
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watermailonman

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« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2016, 12:01PM »

I have a couple of opinions regarding your list, as it pertains to Jazz Trombone

It would be easy to make a long list with every great jazz trombonist because, hey, the fact that they manage to play any music on the damn thing is a significant accomplishment.  That said it would of course become un-wieldy very quickly.

As far as descriptions:
JJ is considered the first (and the recorded evidence largely supports this) trombonist to translate the bebop language to the trambone. Early JJ (with Snookum Russell, Benny Carter and Basie) was definitely Swing oriented, but his stuff with Parker (and after that) is pure bop. tWhile there are quite a few swing and "proto-bop" guys who influenced him (Tommy D, Jack T and Fred Beckett to name three), JJ is definitely the first bebop guy. He first recorded with Parker in 47, and he was doing his own 4tet stuff too (his savoy stuff came out in '49 although he was performing with the guys from minton's before that.)  Keep in mind bebop isn't just characterized by "a lot of notes" - it's a linear approach using a more sophisticated harmonic language where color tones (extensions) tend to become important parts of the melody and not just passing tones. This is one of the reasons why most jazz trombonists put him ahead of Ros in terms of innovation. Ros's approach can really be seen as more of an extension of the swing era guys (more arpeggiation) while JJ's style was more linear. They are both very clearly playing be-bop; but you can not discount JJ's influence here nor deny him credit as being the first major be-bop innovator (not to mention a huge and highly under-rated component of the Hard-Bop movement which followed.)

Ros and Fontana - I can see why you'd group these guys together, they played in Kenton's band together, and they are obviously influenced by the same guys, but their approaches are pretty different. Fontana relied almost exclusively on a smooth doodle approach where Ros's approach seems much more articulate, more single and double tongue. Their importance isn't so much in terms of developing a style or a body of work as much as it is establishing a technical paradigm, further solidifying JJ's in-roads into bop, as it were.

Jack's importance can't really be over-stated; he destroyed the stereotype of the "tailgate" trambone, the loud belligerent drunken uncle of jazz (that characterization is why i love playing tailgate more than just about anything else, but i digress.) Tommy Dorsey cites him as his biggest influence, and you can draw a straight line through Jack, TD, JJ, and every modern trombonist from there.

Kid Ory kind of needs to be on there, and one could definitely make an argument about a number of other performers of traditional jazz, but Kid Ory's significance historically puts him there. I understand you're saying "first best recorded" but historical significance is not necessarily attached to the best audio recording - early jazz isn't known for being hi-fidelity. And some of our "firsts" are probably going to disagree - I understand European musicians have a different view of our music so that could also be a source of disagreement - but why make lists if not for the disagreement they inspire :D

Excellent post  Good!

Continue with adding important players with motivation and we might get more answers like this  :) and hopefully a few good debates about players too.

/Tom
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2016, 12:59PM »

Ory was easily one of the best Dixieland trombonists out there.  If you wanted a perfect example of the style Ory would be it.

First jazz trombonist recorded was Eddie Edwards of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.  His style was more "Tailgate" and he never ad-lib soloed on a recording.  I can say this because the ODJB was the first jazz group EVER to record.

I like the suggestions so far.  It's hard to pick only 5 great jazz trombone players (as it is hard to pick even 100).  Not to mention that taste comes into the mix.  I always liked the playing of Kai Winding over JJ, but that's my personal taste.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 08, 2016, 01:19PM »

What about Watrous and Urbie? How did they make this beautiful ballads high up?
Leif
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 08, 2016, 01:41PM »

Urbie - Best sound ever recorded on the trombone as far as I'm concerned.

John Allred - As good a melodist as Clifford, no doubt.

Elliot Mason - As good a melodist as John Allred just using a completely different approach.



My goal is to be the perfect hybrid of the three of them, and Bruce Lee. 



Then I'll conquer the world. 
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2016, 01:49PM »

What about Watrous and Urbie? How did they make this beautiful ballads high up?
Leif

I agree to those as very important and I'm sure they could be up on the list too if there were more room on my list, but I only want five.

I'm still tempted to add them with a couple of new motivations. I welcome any comments to the motivation.


Uribe Green - as being the first best technically perfect jazz trombone player recorded as he had perfect control and the abilities to perform in any contemporary style and in any context. Tasteful and super smooth technically and always swinging. He had the best articulation and the purest and sweetest sound of any recorded jazz trombone players of his time. Add to this a lyrical approach to his improvisation like no one else. His improvisations are all very melodic. He never gets aggressive. A gentleman on the trombone.

Bill Watrous - the first best jazz trombone player who used the mic in a new way like nobody before him had done. The mic made it possible to play soft and fast and still be heard, and the perfect articulation made him swing in very fast tempos, add to that the circular breathing that made him to really stretch the phrases. He was a pioneer to be able to use the microphone for sound and to intergrate the mic with his technique like that. He could play incredibly high with full control like nobody before him had done on a record. He also got known for his smooth ballade technique. With the use of circular breathing and soft playing in the mic he could play those very long phrases with that smooth new sound he developed. He also had a fantastic doodle and fretting technique for fast playing. Something like that had not been  put on record before. He also added a new kind of vibrato that a lot of guys try to copy.


I did not put them on my list simply because the other guys were even more important to put on MY list. If they should replace someone it would be Frank and Carl. I consider all these as followers to the three first on my list. I seem to share my view of them as being very important with Exaclee and Bruce too.

I love that you consider them to be on the list, Leif. Please don't hesitate to try and motivate why you want them to be on YOUR list.

Now to everybody else..make me sweat for adding those motivations, please  Hi

Urbie - Best sound ever recorded on the trombone as far as I'm concerned.

John Allred - As good a melodist as Clifford, no doubt.

Elliot Mason - As good a melodist as John Allred just using a completely different approach.



My goal is to be the perfect hybrid of the three of them, and Bruce Lee. 

Then I'll conquer the world. 


Thank you for those motivations especially for the Urbie motivation since Leif brought it up. I had already written my post so I had to push the post button.

Please no names without motivation, please and in bold please  :)

/Tom
« Last Edit: Jan 09, 2016, 08:43AM by watermailonman » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: Jan 08, 2016, 06:04PM »

Hard to argue with the names suggested so far, but a couple more to consider:

Bob Brookmeyer - perhaps the first (maybe the last!) to make the valve trombone a worthy jazz instrument.

Grachan Moncur III - the first (I think) exponent of free jazz on trombone.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 08, 2016, 06:34PM »

...

Bob Brookmeyer - perhaps the first (maybe the last!) to make the valve trombone a worthy jazz instrument.

...

Actually, Juan Tizol was a valve trombone player active before Brookmeyer.  Tizol played with Ellington and wrote a lot of his classic songs (like Caravan).
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 08, 2016, 08:17PM »

Actually, Juan Tizol was a valve trombone player active before Brookmeyer.  Tizol played with Ellington and wrote a lot of his classic songs (like Caravan).

Yeah, I thought about Tizol, but I'm not aware of any of his playing outside the big band setting (I may simply be missing it).  Doesn't disqualify him, of course, but I'd still hold that Brookmeyer gave the instument a certain cachet that it didn't have even after Tizol.  Anyhow, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 08, 2016, 11:42PM »

Miff Mole - first virtuoso trombonist of early jazz.

J.C. Higgenbotham - second virtuoso trombonist of early iazz.

Or viсe versa. :)
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 06, 2016, 10:57AM »

I concur with Teagarden, JJ, Fontana/Rosolino, Urbie, and Tommy...



I would say add Fedchock could be on here because there's so much technique it's just silly, but he's the new blend of JJ and Tommy.  He's the new leader in innovation.


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