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Top Trombonists

This is my fan page - hopefully it will encourage others to listen to these great players and be inspired as I have been.

In no particular order . . . links are to wikipedia entries, youtube postings and official sites where they exist.     It's also worth throwing the names into google or youtube if you want to follow up further.

  • JJ Johnson

    Generally regarded as the inventor of modern jazz trombone, a hugely influential stylist and teacher, whose warmth and humility made him a great ambassador for the trombone and for jazz

    Read More    Look and Listen
  • Don Drummond

    Trombonist of the Skatalites - seminal Jamaican Ska combo. Unlike his contemporary Rico Rodriguez, who moved to England, Drummond spent his whole life in Jamaica as teacher, composer and bandleader. His unfortunate end does nothing to diminish the stellar quality of his playing and writing. The Skatalites' 'Guns of Navarone' remains the most sought after Ska 45!

    Read More   Official Site    
  • Albert Mangelsdorff

    German trombone master best known for his mastery of multiphonic technique and his dedication to free improvisation. His early recordings show Mangelsdorff to have been an extremely accomplished jazz player on the JJ Johnson model and his later work uniquely melds the melodic flair, harmonic awareness and good humoured wit of the great jazz musician with his rigorous exploration of the trombone soundscape. My personal all time favourite trombonist

    Read More   Look and Listen
  • Bill Watrous

    The master of the doodletongue. Watrous must be the only trombonist to attract criticism for being too proficient: his exceptional virtuosity, honed through millions of hours of practice, is as astonishing as it is admirable. If you find his current style a little too smooth there's always the back catalogue: some of his early work, eg with Woody Hermann is as raw as a french steak.

    Read More      Official Site    
  • Jay Friedman

    Say it softly - mostly there is nothing interesting about symphony trombone players. They all do the same job and if you've heard of them is because they have done it well for a long time: basically you hit the notes and make the sound and that's it.
    Jay is a massive exception to that rule: a lyrical soloist of exceptional musicianship and insight - worth the journey to hear him play a few phrases.

    Read More     Look and Listen
  • Brandt Attema

    Probably the only man in the world who can make the contra-bass trombone look and sound easy, Brandt is a) a phenomenally nice guy b) an outstanding musician with exceptional breadth and curiosity and c) an extraordinary trombone playing machine. Alone, in orchestra or with his buddies in the New Trombone Collective, he has the sound that makes the spine tingle and the jaw drop at the same time.

    New Trombone Collective     Look and Listen
  • Nils Landgren

    Nils' work with Funk Unit has made him a legend across Scandinavia. Awesome technique, bubbling free flowing ideas, soaring lyrical sound and canny control of the electronics: from Abba to Sibelius, every note he plays is worth hearing . . .

    Read More      Official Site      Look and Listen
  • Milt Bernhart

    I loved Milt's playing before I knew his name: so do you. That screaming solo on Sinatra's recording of 'Got You Under My Skin' ? yep. Those amazing Bill Russo tunes on the 1950s Kenton recordings ? oh yes . . basically anything from the 1950s that has a memorable trombone solo on it is probably Milt Bernhart .

    Read More     Look and Listen
  • Moises Nogueras

    Who? Moises is the trombone sound of El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico - the combination of his sound and Rafeal Ithier's writing has engraved a unique trombone voice into the heart of salsa - even if you never hear the name. The original trombonist, eard on early GC recordings is Epifanio "Fanny" Ceballos - trombone. He was briefly replaced in 1991 by Toñito Vázquez after which Moises has filled the chair up to the present.

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  • Jörgen van Rijen

    Jorgen is an authentic classical trombone superstar: as principal of the wonderful Concertgebouw Orchestra, frontman for the New Trombon Collective or travelling soloist, Jorgen is the ultimate poster boy for modern trombone playing

    Read More      Official Site     New Trombone Collective     Look and Listen 1     Look and Listen 2
  • Corpus Trombone Quartet

    Formed at the LIszt Academy, Budapest, they walked away with the Quartet Prize at the 2006 ITF in Helsinki. Here is what I wrote at the time:
    "The tone was open and vibrant at all dynamics, the intonation absolutely spot on so that every chord, whether open octaves and fifths, or dense clusters could really bite and ring. Huge dynamic and expressive range, not afraid to bite, scream and snarl when required, turning on a ½ euro to lyrical and tender. This was superb trombone playing at the service of great ensemble musicianship. If I say that the only flaw in the first movement was a mute falling off a chair . . I think the point is made. The 2nd and third movements maintained the quality and excitement - maybe a few moments in the finale where enthusiasm on the bass crosses a slightly tiring lead - never mind: great playing from a great group . . . totally fearless, bordering on reckless bravura, but it all comes off as it only can when the quartet is formed of four exceptional soloists playing together. " I think I liked them!

    Official Site
  • Bart van Lier

    Bart is the trombonist of the Metropole Orchestra and teaches Jazz trombone at the Rotterdam Conservatoire. He is a unique stylist whether turning on the warmest of ballad tones or racing around trumpet-style licks in his improvisations which are virtusoic but always thoughtful - never facile .

    Look and Listen
  • Dave Stewart

    Probably the best Bass Trombonist in the world: Dave has a stellar cv including a lengthy stint with The London Philharmonic Orchestra,film sessions and West End shows.
    I really don't have the words to describe the wonder of the sound he produces - and besides he is simply a really top guy! Sorry no performance link here but next time you watch Lord of the Rings just listen!

    Read More

As I say, these are just some of my favourite trombonists, reflecting their personalities as well as their music. If you would like to explore further, there is a very comprehensive roster of biographies and lots of other trombone goodies at Trombone Page of the World      Enjoy!

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