Saturday, July 6, 2013



I have some nice experiences and interesting ideas to share with you since my last post starting with my recent trip to Stockholm, Sweden.  My friend, the acclaimed Swedish tenor saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar  
Jonas Kullhammar
asked me if I'd like to 
be in a movie with him. He told me the scene we would shoot depicts a set at the famous Montmartre Jazz Club in Copenhagen, circa 1963. Jonas wrote some hip music for the scene. We've been trying to find opportunities to play together since we met back in the mid 2000's, so I was immediately interested. What better opportunity than to film a scene "live", in a movie that by all accounts will be a major release in Europe in 2014! Hopefully it will be successful in the United States as well.


The movie is titled Gentlemen and Gangsters. It is the film adaptation of the highly successful novel, Gentlemen (pictured above). The author Klas Ostergren also wrote the screenplay. Gentlemen is considered one of the most important literary works to come out of Sweden in the last century. You can read a synopsis of the film by clicking this link:


I really liked working with the director   Mikael Marcimain, especially after he gave me a brief speaking part (let's hope it doesn't make the cutting room floor)! 

Mikael Marcimain

Mikael is known for his attention to detail. We started at 11 am and wrapped up at 10:30 pm for a 3 minute scene! It was a hot and smoke filled environment with little ventilation. Everything was done to preserve historical accuracy. It wasn't easy as we we filmed the performance live, with lots of takes - but a really fun experience. The scene was shot at The TeaterStudio Lederman with Jonas, myself and a fine Swedish rhythm section: Mathias Landaeus - piano, Sjostedt Martin - bass and Moussa Fadera - drums.
Here a some stills from the shoot.

 from L to Rt: Lead actor- David Dencik, Jonas Kullhammar, Mathias Landaeus, Sjostedt Martin, Moussa Fadera, Clifton Anderson and author - Klas Ostergren

Gentlemen and Gangsters is scheduled for release late 2014


And So We Carry On is referred to in the June 2013 issue of Jazz Inside Magazine by Eric Harabadian as "A modern Jazz essential"!  If you haven't added this to your collection yet - now's the time .... click here

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In 1977 I was attending The Manhattan School of Music studying trombone with the late great Metropolitan Opera trombonist John Clark. I remember John mentioning he had a female student that was a tremendous player. Like me she also played Jazz around NYC (Manhattan School Of Music didn't have a Jazz ciriculum at that time). Not long after that conversation took place I got a call from Janice Robinson, the player John had spoken of. Janice told me that the great Jazz trombonist and arranger Slide Hampton was putting together a trombone choir and was looking for trombonists that could qualify. I got the rehearsal info and showed up. I didn't know any of the other trombone players there with the exception of Steve Turre. I had met Steve briefly at The Village Gate at a fundraiser for WRVR (the premier jazz station in NYC at that time). Steve was playing with the late great Rahsaan Roland Kirk that night.

Both The Village Gate and WRVR are long gone but not forgotten. 

Slide named the group     The World Of Trombones. Members of the original World Of Trombones were Janice Robinson, Steve Turre, Clifford Adams, Earl McIntyre, Doug Purviance, Papo Vasquez, Bill Ohashi and myself. I brought a fellow trombonist from Manhattan School along with me to the rehearsal named Danny Borgen. I remember Danny played one gig with us but he didn't stay in the group. I believe he may have been replaced by Clarence Banks
In 1979 The World of Trombones went into the studio to do the bands first recording for West 54 records. The recording is available on iTunes. Unfortunately I didn't play on the recording. I had to honor a prior commitment to another group I was working with to go on the road. By the time the record date was pinned down I couldn't get out of the obligation. I still regret missing that date. 

purchase here

Slide Hampton's vision and development of The World Of Trombones is an important part of music history that cannot be overstated. Slide's arrangements for this group are among some of his best work - check out his timeless arrangement of J.J.Johnson's Lament. The group also brought together the best younger players with some incredible veterans including, the late great Britt Woodman, Benny Powell and the great Curtis Fuller. This group had a profound affect on the evolution of Jazz trombonists and trombone playing. The level of performance that Slide required from us was always challenging. In fact we often got our egos checked. Another great thing about this group has been it's legacy. Through the years Slide has evolved the arrangements and the players. The original group morphed into an ever shifting amalgam of trombonists - Frank Lacy, Robin Eubanks, Bob Trowers and Conrad Herwig soon signed on. We always had stellar rhythm sections with people like Buster Williams, the late great Albert Dailey, Clint Houston and Hilton Ruiz - Idris Muhammad, Michael Carvin, Ray Drummond and Kevin Eubanks (among others). From it's early beginnings to the present each of the trombone players that have come through The World Of Trombones owe Slide Hampton a debt of thanks. It was difficult keeping a group like this together for various reasons. Although we each have moved into our own careers, the foundation Slide Hampton and The World Of Trombones instilled in us remains invaluable.

Slide Hampton and Clifton

Slide Hampton is one of my major musical mentors. 

Slide was responsible for introducing me to the legendary J.J. Johnson in 1979. He arranged for me to attend Jay's record date at Fantasy Studios in California. J.J. stepped back into the studio after a hiatus of 7 years to record "Pinnacles". That record date was also the first time I met Joe Henderson and Tommy Flanagan.

A Happy Re-union

I performed at a Jazz Vespers in Newark, and during the "meet and greet", a woman came up to me and said I made her think of Slide Hampton when I played. Her name is Nurah Johnson, a Reiki & Karuna practitioner in NJ. I told her Slide was a mentor of mine and how I hadn't been in touch with him for some time. She walked off and moments later returned handing me her phone. It was Slide on the phone! We spoke and I asked him if he would like a visit from Steve, Janice and myself for a couple hours. Janice, Steve and I had been talking about going to see Slide for some time. We just wanted to have a nice visit, make sure he was OK and to let him know how much he has meant to us. Slide wanted to see us also. 
Doug Purviance arranged the visit and got in touch with Robin Eubanks. Although we were talking about doing this for some time the actual meeting happened on pretty short notice. That's why more trombonists weren't present. It turned out to be a very emotional and heartwarming re-union.

L to R: Janice Robinson, Robin Eubanks, Doug Purviance, Fearless Leader Slide Hampton, Clifton Anderson and Steve Turre

Slide is playing and writing. He showed us several scores he's working on. He is also interested in giving lessons and doing some master classes. Maybe at some point we might have a full re-union of The World Of Trombones - with playing! For now we should start planning a fantastic tribute event for one of our greatest living Jazz artists.


I'm planning to bring The Boneyard Trombone Workshops to Brooklyn at IBeam Studios on July 17th and 31st. These workshops are geared to give the attendees tips on all aspects of their playing. They are open to all levels but you should have some basics under your belt to participate. I hope to see you there!


Promoters and Booking Agents: 
I am now performing with my quintet in support of "And So We Carry On" to enthusiastic and appreciative audiences everywhere we play! Please reach me through my website for further info.

If you like my blog please share the link with your friends, and feel free to leave your comments below -

Till next time ..........

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