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Various Artists: Trombones on Parade (2003)

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Trombones on Parade offers 23 classic performances spanning the years from 1927 to 1950, and every selection is a worthy addition to this cleanly remastered, budget-priced collection. Odd how American jazz labels so like to collect tunes unified by musician, style, or era – or even listener mood ("Jazz for a Sad Afternoon") – but U.K. jazz reissue labels often perceptively anthologize by instrument. It makes for an entertaining and enlightening overview.

The collection starts with Kid Ory's wailing tone alongside Armstrong's Hot Five and concludes with a taste of a very youthful and bop-colored J.J. Johnson. While most of the trombonists will be familiar to jazz lovers, some expected figures show up in unexpected contexts. It is a rare pleasure to hear Juan Tizol outside of an Ellington band fronting his own small unit. And how often do we hear Kai Winding with Charlie Ventura? But Winding does bring up a shortcoming of this compilation: we never get to hear great trombonists playing together. No Kai and J.J., for example, or pushing further into the '50s, that eccentrically engaging trombone quartet Mingus recorded.

Nevertheless, these brief selections showcase the shouting, mourning, screaming, intimately whispering horn in one swinging setting after another. Imagine a better experience for a kid dreaming about learning this difficult horn, or for a wistful oldster who remembers hearing this jazz live during his glory years.


Track Listing: 1. Ory's Creole Trombone, 2. Slippin' Around, 3. Keb-lah, 4. Toin Roof Blues, 5. Ja-Da, 7. Black and Tan Fantasy, 8. Lover, 9. Marie, 10. Up in Sidney's Flat, 11. J.C. From K.C., 12. After You've Gone, 13. Conversing in Blue, 14. I Got Rhythm, 15. Rose of the Rio Grande, 16. Stardust, 17. Margie, 18. Sultry Serenade, 19. Broadhurst Garden Blues, 20. Everywhere, 21. East Off Suez, 22. Yesterdays, 23. Sliphorn Outing.

Personnel: KidOry, Miff Mole, Juan Tizol, Georg Brunis, Brad Gowans, Glenn Miller, Tricky Sam Nanton, Jack Teagarden, Tommy Dorsey, Sandy Williams, J.C. Higginbotham, Vic Dickenson, Benny Morton, Dicky Wells, Lawrence Brown, Jack Jenny, Trummy Young, Tyree Glenn, George Chisholm, Bill Harris, Kai Winding, J.J. Johnson.

Record Label: Living Era

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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