Floyd O'Brien

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A fine trombonist with a warm tone and a solid improvising style (although not on the level of Jack Teagarden), Floyd O'Brien performed with many top musicians throughout his career. He started out playing…
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A fine trombonist with a warm tone and a solid improvising style (although not on the level of Jack Teagarden), Floyd O'Brien performed with many top musicians throughout his career. He started out playing in early 1920s Chicago and was an unofficial member of The Austin High School Gang. During the 1920s, O'Brien was with the bands of Earl Fuller, Floyd Town, Charles Pierce, Thelma Terry and Husk O'Hare, among others. After working in a pit band in Des Moines, Iowa (1930-31), O'Brien played with Mal Hallett and then in New York with Joe Venuti, Smith Ballew and Mike Durso (1933-34). O'Brien served with the big bands of Phil Harris (1935-39), Gene Krupa (1939-40) and Bob Crosby (1940-42). He moved to Los Angeles in 1943 where he played with Eddie Miller's short-lived big band, recorded with Bunk Johnson and worked with Shorty Sherock, Jack Teagarden and Wingy Manone. O'Brien moved permanently back to Chicago in 1948, freelancing throughout the 1950s (including with Bud Freeman, Art Hodes and Danny Alvin). He worked in later years as a brass teacher and a piano tuner. The trombonist was on many record dates through the decades including with Bud Freeman (back in 1928), Eddie Condon (starting in 1933), Fats Waller, Mezz Mezzrow, George Wettling (1940), Bob Crosby, Charles LaVere (1944), Art Hodes, Danny Alvin, Albert Nicholas (1959) and Smokey Stover. However O'Brien only had one opportunity to lead his own record date, resulting in two titles for Jump in 1945 that have also been released under pianist Charles LaVere's name.