Nat Story

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The solos of jazz horn players are said to tell a story, but here is a trombonist whose surname actually is one. Nat Story's story begins on the famous New Orleans riverboats, where the trombonist was…
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The solos of jazz horn players are said to tell a story, but here is a trombonist whose surname actually is one. Nat Story's story begins on the famous New Orleans riverboats, where the trombonist was a regular member of the Fate Marable band from the early '20s through 1927. From there the trombonist moved onto a combo led by historic jazz artist Floyd Campbell, then relocated to New York City in 1930. From this vantage point he was able to snag spots in touring ensembles such as Bud Harris & His Rhythm Rascals as well as groups fronted by Luis Russell and Sam Wooding.

A connection with drummer and bandleader Chick Webb in 1936 would eventually contribute quite a few cubic feet to the towering stature of the trombonist's discography. This period is the source of many early recordings featuring supreme vocalist Ella Fitzgerald; Story stayed on in this group following Webb's death in 1939, as did many other sidemen who could not bear to pull away from Ella, the new de facto bandleader. Story went on to gig with the excellent groups of Andy Kirk and Lucky Millinder but developed into more of a part-time player in the later chapters of his career. In the '60s he worked with a combo based out of Indiana, Doc Stocker's Dixie Band.