Lawrence Brown Day
August 3, 1907 – September 5, 1988
Rockin’ In Rhythm
Trombonist Lawrence Brown was born August 3, 1907 in Lawrence, Kansas.
The son of a minister, Brown (who grew up near Los Angeles) briefly played piano, violin, and tuba before becoming a trombonist.
While he studied medicine at college, music soon took over his life and at 19 he was a professional.
He joined Duke Ellington’s orchestra in 1932 where his fluent style, distinctive sound and strong technique made him a major asset and a frequent soloist.
After 19 years, Brown left in 1951 to join Johnny Hodges’ combo, staying four years, doing studio work and sessions, and rejoining Ellington for an additional decade (1960-70) before gradually retiring.
From a 1969 telecast, Lawrence Brown takes the trombone solo during a rousing version of “Rockin’ In Rhythm” with the Duke Ellington Orchestra on the Ed Sullivan show; Cat Anderson’s high-note trumpet is not to be missed.