At least one aspect of Joe Howard's contributions to the New Orleans jazz scene was fairly well documented on recordings: his tuba playing. He stretched down to that instrument's range after starting out as a trumpeter, in this case the recorded evidence consisting mainly of a session in a Big Easy garage during the Roaring Twenties, hopefully when the mechanics with power tools were off duty. Howard was one of the famed trumpeter Buddy Bolden's alumni. He should be mistaken for neither the trombonist nor the vaudeville tunesmith of the same name, both of whom compounded the chances for such an error with their multiplicity of respective recording and copyright credits. Brassman Howard also played alongside Bolden as members of Allen's Brass Band during the early years of an outfit that carried on from 1907 well into the early '40s. His listings in the trumpet sections of New Orleans jazz outfits also include both the Tuxedo Orchestra and Tuxedo Brass Band as well as several dance bands fronted by Fate Marable.
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