CHARLIE GREEN

Classic (1920s) Jazz • United States
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"Big" Charlie Green was the first trombonist in jazz to combine a large, well-rounded sound with a sense of swing and improvisation. Joining Fletcher Henderson's band just before the arrival of trumpeter Louis Armstrong, Green was briefly at the vanguard of melodic jazz invention.

He also enjoyed success as a sideman with singers, providing one of the first models of an instrumentalist successfully improvising alongside a vocalist. Green's creativity with the blues idiom and mastery of "gut-bucket" techniques, such as growls and the use of plunger mutes, are in full evidence in his work with blues singer Bessie Smith, who recorded "Trombone Cholly" in his honor in 1927.

Green's exact birth date is uncertain, but he is believed to have been born around 1895 in Omaha, Nebraska. He played with various local brass bands in and around Omaha, including with Red Perkins from 1920 to 1924. He moved to New York to
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Trombone Cholly / Lock and Key (Bessie Smith)
Classic (1920s) Jazz 1927

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