Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

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tbdana
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Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by tbdana »

I did a search for similar threads but didn't find any, though they must be here.

So who were your trombone heroes when you were young? I had three trombone heroes in my youth (which was in the 1960s to 70s).

The first was Urbie Green, who turned the lights on for me as to how someone ought to play the trombone.

Second was Jim Pankow, the trombone player in the band Chicago, who taught me that trombone could be a serious instrument in hard rock. I grew up in the era of classic rock, so naturally this thrilled me.

And the third was Bill Watrous, whose raw ability blew my mind and forced me to grapple with either throwing my horn in the ocean or locking myself in the practice room for 10 years.

I never met or played with Urbie, but I was incredibly privileged to know and play with both Pankow and Watrous. Watrous died 6 years ago, but I'm still in touch with Pankow.

Honorable mentions go to locals where I grew up, like Dick Nash, Ralph Sauer and Byron Peebles (and Sonny Ausman just for the way he talked). Roy Main for teaching. And I also loved the teachings of Remmington (I had planned to go to Eastman to study with him but never did, thanks to Roy Main) and Marstellar. Frank Rosolino was also an idol for the incredible passion and soul he brought to the horn, but I never looked to him as a role model for playing.

Who were your formative trombone idols, and why and when?
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by henrysa »

Dick Shearer and James Pankow. All the guys in the Lawrence Welk Orchestra fascinated me even before I could lift a trombone. Mel Won in Stockton, CA. He was also a great instructor and band leader. Peggy Salmon, is now married to the great Kenton trumpeter Mike Vax. Used to sit in her section in summer jazz bands. Dang. Gal could really play....I hid down in 3rd chair
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by AtomicClock »

The question presupposes the existence of idols. I"m not sure I had any. When I was 14, I saw Gene Watts with the Canadian Brass. That got me really into quintets, which lead to Scott Hartman. I guess I heard Watrous on Star Trek, but it didn't do anything for me (jazz? ugh). Most of these other names I only encountered as an adult.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Fidbone »

JJ Johnson
Frank Rosolino
Bill Watrous
Carl Fontana
Don Lusher
Urbie Green

No explanation needed 😎
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by HornboneandVocals »

Early trombone hero was an unnamed trombonist at a Christmas parade when I was 2 or 3, who sparked my passion for trombone.

Fast forward to middle school and the lebedev concerto, Randy Hawes.

Then the Santa Clara Vangard 2018 euph soloist, happened to be best friends with my band director, and did the rimsky korsakov concerto with him my freshman year. Skylar McKinnon (unsure of spelling of last name), now playing with a navy band somewhere.

Now, Tomer Maschkowsky and Jeremy Wilson, for their expression and musicality.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by MStarke »

There are many - this is just a small selection:

- My first trombone teacher, Siegfried Müller, who was Wechsel Posaunist (tenor/bass) at the opera and philharmonic orchestra in my hometown Essen
- Only realized this recently: Ludwig Nuss from the WDR bigband. Since I was about 15 I have been in 3 or 4 workshops with him, have met him a few more times and have had one lesson with him until now. Great person with a really impressive, somehow extremely relaxed way of playing
- Alan Kaplan. I have heard his Lonely Town recording probably 100 times and have been very fortunate to have had some lessons with him. Great person who has taught me so much. I absolutely love is ballad playing and have been absolutely surprised how great he sounds on bass.
- Stefan Schulz. Have met him a few times. One of my bass trombone sound role models, but also a great teacher with a lot of positive influence on my playing
- Ulrich Flad who I studied with for around 1.5 years. His Parsifal in Bayreuth was the best orchestral trombone playing I can imagine.
- Alain Trudel for his alto trombone recordings. That's the sound I want to achieve on alto
- Christian Lindberg as a person - I don't think there is any other trombonist with that level of energy - and as a trombonist for e g his Martin Ballade, Frumerie, Grondahl and Weber Romance
- Andy Martin and Carl Fontana for jazz playing
-And in the last years Matthew Gee has become a favorite of mine reg large tenor sound
- Almost forgot Bill Reichenbach and Uwe Fuessel, two certainly different bass trombonists whose sound and style I admire
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Kingfan »

Pankow, Watrous, DeSano
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by atopper333 »

My father got me in to playing. He was a product of the bands from Texas in the 70s, and the way he could pick up a horn and make it sound beautiful even after years of not playing was truly awesome.

He introduced me to Pankow which really got me hooked, and then I heard J.J. Johnson’s solo on Satin Doll…
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WilliamLang
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by WilliamLang »

Lindberg and Alessi for me! Pretty stock answers for sure, but they'll always be my guiding lights.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by officermayo »

As a kid I was always hearing my Dad's stereo playing Green, Rosolino, JJ & Kai and Zentner. At 14 I discovered Pankow. Jimmy's had the biggest influence on my playing.
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tbdana
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by tbdana »

officermayo wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:25 pm As a kid I was always hearing my Dad's stereo playing Green, Rosolino, JJ & Kai and Zentner. At 14 I discovered Pankow. Jimmy's had the biggest influence on my playing.
My dad loved Si Zentner. He tried to get me into Si Zentner, too, and even took me to one of Si's gigs. But I didn't care. I was infatuated with Urbie Green, and the only good thing about Si Zenter was that he said he knew Urbie Green. So when I met him, all I did was ask him about Urbie Green. :D

At that concert my dad took me to, Zentner had a trombone player in his band named Billy Watrous. I didn't care about sidemen, either. Just Urbie. LOL!
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by jimazing »

My dad had a Glenn Miller album that must have helped me choose trombone. As a teenager I couldn't get enough James Pankow and later Bill Watrous. I got to play with Watrous in college in 1977. Thrill of my life at the time!
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by harrisonreed »

I saw Christian Lindberg play with the National Symphony in DC in 2003, I believe, when I was 15. I only knew of him from the one CD my teacher played for me, so I was expecting trombone and piano, Pryor solos. I didn't know what a trombone concerto was. Kalevi Aho didn't write Pryor solos 😂. The impact was so great, not just on me, but the whole section and a lot of our strings players, that I have been a huge fan of his ever since. I went and listened to all of his recordings, and really got interested in his work on avant garde music.

From there I learned about Abbie Conant and her "Street Scene for the Last Mad Soprano", and went down a different rabbit hole of avant garde music. Her recordings of the classic "legit" rep are also great.

I also learned about Yamamoto Ko-ichirou in Japan when I was doing a short trip as in interpreter for a machine tool company at age 19. He is the principal in Seattle now, I believe, and he has an incredible sound.

It wasn't until just last year that I learned that both Abbie and Ko-ichirou attended the same trombone camp run by Lindberg in the early 90's, and were his students as adults. And those were the three I listened to the most.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by MrHCinDE »

I remember be amazed at the sound of Nick Hudson on some live concerts I heard him in. Played a couple of massed band gigs on Euphonium in front of John Barber which was one of the reasons I picked up the trombone.

One of the first CDs I owned was a Kai Winding album. I pretty much wore that disc out.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Kdanielsen »

WilliamLang wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:02 pm Lindberg and Alessi for me! Pretty stock answers for sure, but they'll always be my guiding lights.
Amen.

I’ll add Markey, although his first CD didn’t happen until half way through undergrad.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Briande »

James Pankow. I was born in 1967 and my grandparents gave me a Chicago album for my birthday when I was probably 5 or 6. When the time came to pick an instrument in 5th grade it was going to be Saxophone, Trumpet or Trombone because that’s what Chicago had. Since my older brother played trumpet that left 2 to pick from and I picked Trombone. I wore out my Chicago albums trying to imitate Jimmy. Then my older brother introduced me to Bill Watrous and the Manhattan Wild Life Refuge! Then came Urbie Green (The Fox album).
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tim
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by tim »

Roberts, Watrous, and Dick Shearer.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by mcphatty00 »

AL Grey and then a big gap. I didn't have too much exposure to quality playing in high school.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by VJOFan »

Although I began listening to trombone players almost as soon as I started playing, my heroes were the players who came through to my small, isolated city to teach at our summer music camp. One of them stayed in town to conduct our community orchestra and was my first teacher when I was in grade 7.

Those beautiful sounds felt live during lessons and when they played recitals during the camps, still form the biggest part of the mental picture I have for my tone. Coincidentally, they all happened to be Eastman grads or students of Eastman grads so that happened.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by mcphatty00 »

Kingfan wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:38 pm Pankow, Watrous, DeSano
I studied with DeSano in my junior and senior high school years. I don't think he was playing in the orchestra anymore, but he was a wealth of knowledge. I still play on a DE lexan rim because of him and I've had mine since 1997!
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Kbiggs »

I grew up in rural Northern California. Most of my heroes I knew from recordings:

As a kid
Armin Rosin
Denis Wick
James Pankow
Frank Rosolino
Bill Watrous
J.J. Johnson
Kai Winding
James “Jimmie” Pugh

As a young adult I added to the list:
Chicago sections
NY Phil Sections
Joe Alessi
Christian Lindberg
Ralph Sauer
Jeff Reynolds
George Roberts
Ray Premru via Phillip Jones
Kenneth Biggs
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tbdana
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by tbdana »

Kbiggs wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:59 am I grew up in rural Northern California. Most of my heroes I knew from recordings:

As a kid
Armin Rosin
Denis Wick
James Pankow
Frank Rosolino
Bill Watrous
J.J. Johnson
Kai Winding
James “Jimmie” Pugh

As a young adult I added to the list:
Chicago sections
NY Phil Sections
Joe Alessi
Christian Lindberg
Ralph Sauer
Jeff Reynolds
George Roberts
Ray Premru via Phillip Jones

Where in rural NorCal did you grow up? I'm from L.A. but living in rural NorCal now. :) Jeff Reynolds is a friend of mine, and he lives in rural NorCal now, too!

Jim Pugh was a great player who doesn't get enough recognition, IMHO.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Kbiggs »

My dad was in the service when I was born. We lived in Irvine CA in the early ‘70’s, then moved up to Eureka CA. I saw Jim Pugh when Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd came through and stopped at Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt 🙄). I must have been a sophomore in HS. We had a VHS tape (!) of the WHTH from a live concert at a jazz festival. I wore that tape out.

Jeff Reynolds’s brother—Jim?—used to teach at Arcata HS, just across the bay from Eureka. Jim invited Jeff up to stay, and Jeff arranged to give a master class and concert at HSU. I think I was a junior. He played Folke Rabe’s Bolos with three locals. That was special. At his master class, he played a few excerpts, including the Tchaik 6th descending solo. I had never heard anything so big and beautiful. I still have that sound in my head.

I live in Vancouver WA now. I still have friends and a brother in Humboldt Co.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Digidog »

Lee Morgan.
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tbdana
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by tbdana »

Digidog wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:25 amLee Morgan.
Ummmmm… :shuffle:
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Savio »

My first trombone teacher. Not much trombone music available at the time, but got to hear George Roberts and a little later Jeff Reynolds. They became my sound ideal. On tenor Denis Wick and Ralph Sauer. The Ballads of Bill Watrous and Urbie Green. After that came youtube, spotify and now there are so many I listen to. Will not single out anyone, but many well-known trombonists and unknowns who sound incredibly good. But still listen a lot to the old ones.

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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by andesl10 »

I began playing trombone in 2006, which was a fortunate time as YouTube had just been created. I remember listening to a lot of Christian Lindberg, Joe Alessi, and Nils Landgren, as they all had videos out at that time. A few years later Alan Raph began a video series, that was really influential for me. By the later high school years I was listening to Jorgen Van Rijen, Ian Bousfield, Michael Bequet, Achilles Liarmakopoulus Ben Van Dijk, Brandt Attema, and Urbie Green. All helped get my musical ideas and sound concept much more formed.

College years I really focused on the musicianship of people like Stefan Schulz and Dave Taylor.

These days, anything that is musically and artistically creative get me excited to make music. Michael Buchanan's CD along with Jeremy Wilson's content are my go-tos.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by JeffBone44 »

WilliamLang wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:02 pm Lindberg and Alessi for me! Pretty stock answers for sure, but they'll always be my guiding lights.
Same here. I'll add Bill Watrous to that, because he was the first big-time trombonist that I saw live, and when I was in high school I would listen to his recordings daily.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by norbie2018 »

Ralph Sauer
Christian Lindberg
Tutti's Trombones*

*I know, this isn't an artist but I listened to this record constantly as a kid.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by harrisonreed »

I forgot, Carol Jarvis also inspired me to work on my lip trills and technique when I was 16-17. I've played her version of this solo on alto, tenor, and even bass (same register regardless) for years and years now.



So my fourth hero! Nowhere near as good as her, but here I am coming off bass at the very end of a long BQ recital:

Last edited by harrisonreed on Wed Jun 12, 2024 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Kingfan »

mcphatty00 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:55 am
Kingfan wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:38 pm Pankow, Watrous, DeSano
I studied with DeSano in my junior and senior high school years. I don't think he was playing in the orchestra anymore, but he was a wealth of knowledge. I still play on a DE lexan rim because of him and I've had mine since 1997!
I studied with him in the 70s. I just talked to him a few weeks ago and hope to take him to lunch soon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_DeSano
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by mcphatty00 »

Kingfan wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 3:40 pm
mcphatty00 wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:55 am

I studied with DeSano in my junior and senior high school years. I don't think he was playing in the orchestra anymore, but he was a wealth of knowledge. I still play on a DE lexan rim because of him and I've had mine since 1997!
I studied with him in the 70s. I just talked to him a few weeks ago and hope to take him to lunch soon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_DeSano
That's fantastic! Really great guy.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by Digidog »

tbdana wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 11:06 am
Digidog wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:25 amLee Morgan.
Ummmmm… :shuffle:
Seriously.

Noone; not my teachers, not my parents, not the town I grew up in, nor my orchestral directors tipped me off on records or performances with trombonists to listen to and get impressions from. I had no idea what music was played on a trombone in the first five years of playing besides quartet adaptations of songs and band or orchestral pieces. It wasn't until late in high school I found a record with Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter, and thought "this is how I'd like to play, in this kind of music".

That record ran hot on my plate for over a year, before I found a Tommy Dorsey record and began to realize that the trombone was an instrument of its own merits.

So my musical influences on my instrument are rock, and hard rock guitarists and trumpeters like Lee, Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown and so on. It wasn't until I got into musical college that I began to seriously learn about jazz trombonists and the classical trombone repertoire.

All this is the effect on growing up in a small, rural town where there actually was a very good big band but not people around me to encourage me to listen to them and no teachers that gave me impulses on what my instrument was played like by others, and how it would and could sound played by others. I have through education and professionally often been criticised for not playing idiomatically on my trombone, but nowdays I don't care.
Last edited by Digidog on Thu Jun 13, 2024 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who were your trombone heroes growing up?

Post by claf »

Fred Wesley.
I watched a lot My First Name is Maceo and he's the one that made the trombone fun to me.
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