Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1087359 Posts in 72020 Topics- by 19245 Members - Latest Member: Cole Rausch
Jump to:  
The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceTrombonists(Moderator: zemry) Question: Stevie Wonder recording trombone players (photo ID)
Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Question: Stevie Wonder recording trombone players (photo ID)  (Read 1413 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
yeodoug
*
Offline Offline

Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: Apr 4, 2001
Posts: 405

View Profile WWW
« on: Apr 12, 2017, 09:15AM »

Hello all,

I'm working on a book chapter on the trombone in various types of popular music. At the moment I'm researching "horn bands" of the last third of the 20th century and came across this photo of Stevie Wonder in a recording session. The photo is found on the website of the Motown Museum in Detroit although I have seen it in a few other places as well:

https://www.motownmuseum.org/motown-sound/the-artists/stevie-wonder/

I've reached out to the Motown Museum with a few questions but have not had a reply. So I thought I'd toss this out to TTF: does anyone know who these trombone players are/were, when this recording session may have taken place and what album/piece was being recorded? The band is probably the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit-based sidemen that played on dozens of Motown records  and had a very fluid membership (the Wiki article aptly calls the band's name a "loosely applied designation"). Allan Slutsky lists 10 trombone players who played in the Funk Brothers (see his liner notes to the great 4-CD compilation of Motown hits, "Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection"): McKinley Jackson, Bob Cousar, George Bohanon, Paul Rise, Jimmy Wilkens, Don White, Carl Raetz, Patrick Lanier, Bill Johnson, and Ed Gooch.

It may be I'm looking for a needle in a haystack but I'm hoping there is someone out there who is conversant in Detroit-based trombone players of this period. Any ideas?



Thanks very much,

-Douglas Yeo
Logged

Douglas Yeo   

Professor of Trombone, Arizona State University (2012-2016) - retired
Bass Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra (1985-2012) - retired

www.thelasttrombone.com
rodglu
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Charming Motor City
Joined: Aug 9, 2004
Posts: 49

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: Apr 12, 2017, 07:19PM »

Doug

I am a Detroit based trombone player, but this is way before my time. I recommend that you contact Johnny Trudell, who was one of the lead trumpet players with Motown. He's still very active in the Detroit music scene. I'm sure he'll be able to identify the trombone players in your picture, and answer any other questions that you may have. I don't have his contact information, but you should be able to reach him via the Detroit Federation of Musicians: (248) 569-5400.

Good luck.

Rod Glusac
Logged
Ken Kugler
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Apr 22, 2009
Posts: 34

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: Apr 12, 2017, 09:16PM »

There's an article here about Paul Riser (Motown trombonist, Arranger): https://www.soul-source.co.uk/articles/soul-articles/paul-riser-mba-motowns-brilliant-arranger-r2578/

That picture is identified as George Bohannon, Paul Riser, Herbie Williams (trumpet)
Logged
yeodoug
*
Offline Offline

Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: Apr 4, 2001
Posts: 405

View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: Apr 13, 2017, 08:34AM »

Thanks very much for this information; I had not seen the article about Riser. It's very helpful on a number of levels. I will also work to reach out to some older Motown-era players. Thanks for your help.

-Douglas Yeo
Logged

Douglas Yeo   

Professor of Trombone, Arizona State University (2012-2016) - retired
Bass Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra (1985-2012) - retired

www.thelasttrombone.com
yeodoug
*
Offline Offline

Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: Apr 4, 2001
Posts: 405

View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: Apr 14, 2017, 03:34PM »

For those interested, I have dug up some more information about this photo.

It was taken in 1966 at the Hitsville USA studio in Detroit. The players (in addition Stevie Wonder) are, (LtoR): George Bohanan and Paul Riser (trombones), Herbie Williams (trumpet), Robert White (guitar), Hank Cosby (vibes) and James Jamerson (bass). Stevie Wonder recorded two albums that year, "Uptight" and "Down to Earth" so the photo must have been taken in sessions for one of those albums. I've ordered the albums to see if I can narrow the possible tracks based on the instrumentation. Thanks again to all who helped with this question.

-Douglas Yeo
Logged

Douglas Yeo   

Professor of Trombone, Arizona State University (2012-2016) - retired
Bass Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra (1985-2012) - retired

www.thelasttrombone.com
Joebone2.0
*
Offline Offline

Location: Los Angeles
Joined: Oct 27, 2013
Posts: 51

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: Apr 22, 2017, 12:09AM »

Very cool to ID the horn players - the rhythm players are easily identifiable due to Alan Slutsky's wonderful book, and the room is definitely the "snake pit" - the heart of Hitsville, USA.

Here's one to ponder - the extent to which horn parts were "head" parts with no charting.   Early Motown lead sheets were pretty primitive - a three-stave presentation with chords, perhaps some piano voicings, and some bass line info, but also sparse for bars at a time, then punctuated with some rhythmic hits.   Guessing the horn parts were developed on the spot.

This clearly changed as the arrangements got more complex - strings, orchestral horns and effects, etc - I wanna know who did the horn chart on Valerie Simpson's "I Can't Give Back the Love that I Feel for You," performed by Rita Wright.    Still sends chills up my spine whenever I hear it - that weren't no head chart!
Logged
EdGrissom

*
Offline Offline

Location: Texarkana, TX
Joined: Feb 1, 2006
Posts: 192

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: Apr 22, 2017, 05:07AM »

McKinley Jackson is the musical director for the Tempataions.  He's on Facebook and might can answer your questions.  Nice guy. 
Logged

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? If a man makes a statement and no woman is there to hear it, is he still wrong?"
Exzaclee

*
Offline Offline

Location: Edmond, OK
Joined: Mar 8, 2008
Posts: 6569
"Check out my new website!"


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: Apr 22, 2017, 07:36AM »

McKinley Jackson is the musical director for the Tempataions.  He's on Facebook and might can answer your questions.  Nice guy. 

He would be a great guy to contact. He may take a bit to get back to you, he travels quite a bit (just worked with him in Muskogee last thursday.) If one needed his phone number I could probably make a few phone calls and acquire it.
Logged

Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one!
www.zacleemusic.com
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to: