Roswell Rudd Day

November 17, 1935 – December 21, 2017

 

A birthday salute to the adventurous trombonist

Trombonist Roswell Rudd was born on November 17, 1935 in Sharon, Connecticut.

Rudd began his career playing Dixieland and recording two albums with Eli’s Chosen Six, musicians who attended Yale University around the time that the trombonist was there.

Roswell Rudd then jumped ahead many decades musically, working with Cecil Taylor in the late 1950s and becoming a member of jazz’s avant-garde.

Rudd co-led a quartet with soprano-saxophonist Steve Lacy in the early 1960s that had a repertoire that was comprised exclusively of Thelonious Monk compositions.

The trombonist was also a co-leader of the New York Art Quartet, recorded with Albert Ayler (New York Eye and Ear Control) and the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, and was a member of Archie Shepp’s finest group.

After the early 1980s, Rudd had a lower profile, but by the late 1990s he was back playing everything from straight ahead jazz and Herbie Nichols pieces (publishing a book of Nichols’ unrecorded works) to free improvisations and world music.

Roswell Rudd is featured on this film clip performing Thelonious Monk’s “Nutty” in a quintet with Lacy, trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassist J.J. Avenel and drummer John Betsch.

-Scott Yanow

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