Al Wynn

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Although born in New Orleans -- the birthplace of jazz -- Wynn actually learned to play in Chicago, where his family had moved when he was a child. He began trombone while in school and he played left-handed…
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Although born in New Orleans -- the birthplace of jazz -- Wynn actually learned to play in Chicago, where his family had moved when he was a child. He began trombone while in school and he played left-handed for a time. During the '20s, he played with Ma Rainey and Charlie Creath. From 1926-1928, Wynn led his own group, first around Chicago, then in France and Germany. In 1929, he joined Sam Wooding's band in Spain, remaining for about a year and a half. He stayed in Europe until 1932. Wynn then moved to New York, where he worked with the Bechet-Ladnier Feetwarmers for a short time before returning to Chicago. He played with various musicians, including Jimmie Noone, Earl Hines, and Carroll Dickerson before joining Fletcher Henderson in 1937. He left Henderson in 1939; later that year, he played in Noone's big band. Wynn freelanced around Chicago for most of the '40s, also running a record shop and co-owning the Ebony Lounge for a time. He continued playing during the '50s with Lil Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and Floyd Jackson, among others. He played with Franz Jackson from 1956-1960 and the Gold Coast Jazz Band from 1960-1964. In 1961, Wynn recorded with Lil Armstrong and as a leader for Riverside's Living Legends series. He curtailed his musical activities in the mid-'60s due to poor health.