Various Artists

Jazz-Club: Trombone

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Due perhaps more to record-contract restrictions than anything else, the trombone edition of the Jazz-Club series pretty much skips the scene before the end of World War II, after which it becomes quite comprehensive. Beginning with Bill Harris, who provides the link from swing to bop, the package takes us through the larger and lesser lights of bop, hard bop and cool. Trombone king J.J. Johnson is followed by examples of Kai Winding, Jimmy Knepper, Bob Brookmeyer, Urbie Green, Jimmy Cleveland, Curtis Fuller, Frank Rosolino (as a foil for Supersax) and Grachan Moncur III. There are no less than three trombone summits on the disc -- Melba Liston, Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rehak and Slide Hampton in a swinging holiday piece, "Christmas Eve"; Liston again with Benny Green, Al Grey and Benny Powell in the sauntering "Blues Melba"; and Slide's more progressive "Trombone Suite" with himself, Albert Mangelsdorff, Ake Persson and Jiggs Whigham. And perhaps in their zeal to somehow include every instrument in the Jazz-Club series, Verve devotes the last two tracks not to trombones, but to Julius Watkins' plaintive French horn (with the Quincy Jones big band), and Don Elliott's mellophone (he also doubles on vibes!) on "Dancing In the Dark" with a Bill Evans trio.