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Take Five With Josh Brown

Take Five With Josh Brown
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Meet Josh Brown:

Josh made the move to New York in the early 2000s. He quickly began establishing his name as an up-and-coming jazz trombonist, studying with jazz greats Slide Hampton
Slide Hampton
Slide Hampton
b.1932
trombone
, Steve Davis
Steve Davis
Steve Davis
b.1967
trombone
, and Barry Harris
Barry Harris
Barry Harris
b.1929
piano
by day, while cutting his teeth on the local scene at night. Aside from his work as a leader, notable credits vary far and wide, from small group work with renowned jazzmen Grant Stewart
Grant Stewart
Grant Stewart
b.1971
sax, tenor
, Frank Basile
Frank Basile
Frank Basile
b.1978
sax, baritone
and Ehud Asherie
Ehud Asherie
Ehud Asherie
b.1979
piano
, to large groups such as Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and the Smalls Big Band. He has also performed alongside living legends, including a recent guest appearance with Freddy Cole
Freddy Cole
Freddy Cole
b.1931
piano
on his latest album, This and That (HighNote, 2013).

Josh has also relentlessly toured internationally for close to a decade as a member of Warner artist Michael Buble
Michael Buble
Michael Buble
b.1975
vocalist
's band. Numerous TV credits include Saturday Night Live, BET on Jazz, PBS Great Performances, The Late Show with Jay Leno, The Tonight Show with David Letterman, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Live with Kelly and Michael.

Josh is a Conn-Selmer artist, two-time recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, and was a semi-finalist in the 2003 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trombone competition. Author and All About Jazz contributor Trish Richardson also features him in her book The Soul of Jazz (Grayson James Press, 2011). With his newest record Songbook Trio and his previous album The Feeling of Jazz, Josh has secured his footing as an artist with a singular voice and vision as well as a leader on the trombone in the world of jazz.

Instrument(s):

Trombone.

Teachers and/or influences?

J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
1924 - 2001
trombone
, Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
and The Jazz Messengers, and Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I was always a musician. The transition from student to professional was only differentiated by a paycheck, but the sense of performing has never changed. The only time I ever had to make a decision was out of high school when I was a little lost like a lot of kids. However, my first day in college was like a train hitting me saying, "This is what you are supposed to do."

Your sound and approach to music:

I try to make clear and concise statements, thinking more in terms of how Hemingway would write. I like to play to what are the potential strengths of the trombone, the sounds I like, its range, and the way I like it articulated.

Your teaching approach:

Music is a language and like any language it's best not bury your head in the books. It is best to get out to hear and speak it in order to really learn the nuances.

Your dream band:

I would have loved to have been the trombonist for The Jazz Messengers (sorry Curtis [Fuller], but it's a moot point anyway), or have played third trombone in Duke Ellington's band around 1960. I also would have loved to have played behind Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

A flight back home from Australia that started with basically a 10-hour circle that went nowhere. When we got home 38 hours later, I wasn't the happiest.

Favorite venue:

I always love small intimate spaces for jazz. There's a wonderful spot in Ann Arbor, MI called the Kerrytown Concert House, with great people.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

The Trombone Master by J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
1924 - 2001
trombone
. In my opinion, some of JJ's best playing is on this record. Although the album on a whole isn't my favorite, it will always hold a place in my heart. It's just one of those things that comes at the right time in your life and when you are building yourself as a musician. It definitely lives up to its title.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
1924 - 2001
trombone
, Volume 1.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I'm striving to contribute a unique musical sound in the tradition that my musical heroes would be proud.

Did you know...

I wanted to move to Hawaii and windsurf as a kid. Fortunately, my parents didn't let that happen.

CDs you are listening to now:

Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
, Maiden Voyage (Blue Note);

Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
, At Carnegie (Blue Note);

J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
1924 - 2001
trombone
, At the Opera House (Columbia);

Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
1923 - 1990
sax, tenor
, A Day in Copenhagen (Prestige);

Hans Zimmer, Man Of Steel Soundtrack (Warner).

Desert Island picks:

J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
1924 - 2001
trombone
, Volume 1 (Blue Note);

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
, Such Sweet Thunder (Columbia);

Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
/Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
/Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
1924 - 1982
saxophone
, Sonny Side Up (Verve);

Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, Bird With Strings (Verve);

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
1915 - 1998
vocalist
with the Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
1905 - 1956
trombone
Orchestra, The Essential (RCA).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

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