Listening to XM Radio's channel 70 this morning, when hostess Rhonda Hamilton played some J.J. Johnson and talked about Johnson's key role in making the trombone a vital instrument in jazz.
Johnson's virtuosity on his chosen instrument enabled him to hold the stage with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He died in 2001, and left a legacy that still echoes.
I hadn't really considered the trombone much before college, when our professor of jazz was a trombone player. After listening to him -- and checking out some of the recordings available -- I regretted my fateful decision in the third grade to not play the trombone in the school band.
Now, I can honestly say bones are a favorite. While there are many great players today, and many greats from the past, it seems the trombone is still not as commonly heard as trumpets and saxes.
But I can really dig the deep, full sound of trombones, and when in the right hands, I don't think anything swings like a trombone can. Check out J.J Johnson or Kai Winding ... Roswell Rudd ... Clifton Anderson ...Wycliffe Gordon ... ahh, there are too many!