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Sunday, January 06, 2019

RIP Urbie Green

Just heard the sad news that trombonist Urbie Green died on December 31 at the age of 92. One of the true greats on his instrument I first encountered him as part of Woody Herman's New Third Herd. The previous herd featured the saxes on Four Brothers - this one showcased the 'bones on another Giuffre classic - Four Others. Metronome named him as one of the "Arrivals of the Year" in its 1953 yearbook and from then on he never looked back.

Other memories include him blowing on the Buck Clayton Jam Sessions as well as turning up at Eddie Condon's and slotting into the Dixieland idiom as easily as he did the swing/mainstream/modern genre.
A 3 LP live set at New York's Rainbow Rooms with Benny Goodman in a small group that, alongside Benny and Urbie also had Ruby Braff and Paul Quinichette. In his sleeve notes, Benny Green describes Urbie as being what Jack Teagarden might have been if he'd been born 20 years later!
Perhaps the greatest attribute of his many accomplishments was his tone - listen to Skylark on YouTubeAs smooth as silk, he made Tommy Dorsey sound like Kid Ory but, when the occasion demanded it, he could blow tailgate with the best of them.
Truly a man for all seasons and one who will be very sadly missed.
Rest In Peace - every trombone player's music room should have wall to wall albums by Urbie Green.
Lance
Obituary.

2 comments :

Gordon Solomon said...

As you say Lance, another great trombonist has left us. I'm afraid I only have one record of his band,- The persuasive trombone of Urbie Green, but it's one of my treasures. I so admired his playing that I bought, and currently play, a Martin "Urbie Green Special" trombone, under the fond illusion that I would sound a bit like him. As we know, of course, it's not only the instrument that produces the sound, it's the person playing it! It's sad news that he's gone.
Gordon Solomon.

Roly said...

I remember Roy Williams talking about Urbie Green. He loved his playing too.

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