Jim Staley occupies a unique position among trombonists, crossing genres freely between post-modern classical music and avant-garde jazz. He boasts spectacular technique, including the ability to spit forth clusters of notes at rapid speed. Usually concentrating in the mid-to-lower registers of the trombone, his big, gruff tone hearkens to an earlier era, though his wondrous abilities and style plant him firmly in the free music world. Raised in Illinois, Staley served in the armed forces as a member of a U.S. Army Band in Berlin, before receiving Bachelor and Masters degrees in music from the University of Illinois in the late 1970s. Since 1978, Staley has lived in lower Manhattan, where he has actively performed and recorded with many cutting edge innovators, including composer/alto saxophonist John Zorn, guitarist Elliott Sharp, and vocalist Shelley Hirsch. In addition to recordings under his leadership, he appears on several of Zorn's CDs. He also performs and records with a classical ensemble, the Tone Road Ramblers.
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