Julian Laine

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This trombonist, who spent most of his life and career in the Big Easy, comes from a different Laine family of New Orleans than that of drummer Papa Jack Laine. During the late '20s, Julian Laine was…
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This trombonist, who spent most of his life and career in the Big Easy, comes from a different Laine family of New Orleans than that of drummer Papa Jack Laine. During the late '20s, Julian Laine was often heard blasting away on his horn in one of the rowdy gambling and miscellaneous enterprises of sin located in towns such as Biloxi along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Groups such as the Prima-Sharkey Melody Masters and Johnny Bertucci's Band were among his regular employers at such gigs as well as in New Orleans itself. In the former group he began an association with rambunctious bandleader Louis Prima, with whom he would play again.

Laine also performed on the riverboats that were based out of New Orleans, quite often as a sideman to Tony Almerico. In the mid-'30s he began his association with Sharkey Bonano, with whose band he would record some 15 years later. Those sessions, eventually absorbed into the superb Riverside catalog, represent some of the only recordings available by this trombonist. Discographer Tom Lord has come up with a total of only three sessions at which Laine's trombone was taken out of the case -- these include several 1941 releases by trumpeter George Hartman. By this time, Laine was returning to active jazz duty following a lengthy recovery from a car accident. He had begun fronting his own band and had widened his base of operations and circle of associates considerably.

Laine spent part of the late '30s out of New Orleans, summoned to Chicago by his pal Prima for a sound now becoming thick with R&B. The trombonist also played with swing violinist Joe Venuti in the Windy City. Laine's playing activity would also hit a pothole during an Army stint between 1942 and 1944, following which he spent most of the decade back in his hometown in bands with Tony Almerico, Leon Prima, and Bonano. Laine's own group was part of the regular schedule at New Orleans' Three Deuces club in 1949. Bonano began taking Laine out on tour in the '50s as a Dixieland fad began to sweep the nation. Laine also joined the horn lineup of trumpeter Muggsy Spanier's outfit, returning to Chicago as well as gigging in San Francisco. Laine's health soon went into a rut, however, forcing his retirement. His final years as a musician were spent in New Orleans, consisting of sporadic gigs with Johnny Wiggs.