Waldren 'Frog' Joseph

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b. 12 September 1918, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 19 September 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Joseph was born into a musical family where his father and four brothers were all musicians, but it…
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Artist Biography by

b. 12 September 1918, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 19 September 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Joseph was born into a musical family where his father and four brothers were all musicians, but it was a sister who taught him to play piano. He then learned to play bass, working with Kid Howard’s band. Next, he switched to drums but eventually settled with the trombone as his instrument of choice although he continued to play piano and bass over the years. In the 30s, he played in the Joseph Robichaux big band, and he also played in a small group accompanying blues singer Ida Cox. In the 50s and 60s, Joseph’s playing style, which blended smooth swing styling with the more robust New Orleans trombone style, suited bands such as those led by Paul Barbarin, Louis Cottrell Jnr. , Albert French, and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band. With the latter, he recorded and toured Europe and Scandinavia. In the 80s, Joseph played regularly and sometimes recorded with trumpeter Clive Wilson’s Original Camellia Jazz Band. Among other musicians with whom he played are trumpeters Percy Humphrey and Jabbo Smith, pianists Lars Edegran and Jeanette Kimball, banjo player Les Muscutt and drummer John Robichaux. Sides he made in the 50s with Barbarin have been reissued on CD under Humphrey’s name. Through his longevity, Joseph, who was always a secure and workmanlike musician, became one of the last remaining links with early jazz to survive into the twenty-first century.