FOR JJ & KAI
TOM GARLING AND FRIENDS
Russ Phillips - trombone
Tom Garling - trombone
Bradley Williams - piano
Stewart Miller - bass
Bob Rummage - drums
The music of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding --
Long considered one of the finest trombonists in jazz, the late J.J. Johnson was able to transfer the bebop innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to his unwieldy instrument in the mid 1940’s. In August of 1954, Johnson formed a two-trombone quintet with the former Stan Kenton and Tadd Dameron sideman Kai Winding. (The two had previously participated in Miles Davis’ landmark Birth of the Cool recording sessions from 1949.) Thus began a long-standing musical relationship between the two trombone virtuosos. While their quintet was together for only about two years, the two would have several recorded reunions. In all, they recorded about 10 albums, both in-studio and live.
All trombonists relish the opportunity to play together, in any setting...duos, quartets, octets... the more the better! But the music that J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding played together and left as their legacy has been an inspiration to me and many like me who love to play jazz and swing and long to do it with another trombonist. That’s the simple reason that I have assembled a collection of transcriptions based on original performances by Jay and Kai. And, I can think of no trombonist with whom I’d rather play them than Chicago’s own, singularly creative Tom Garling.
Naturally, we’ll be bringing our own personalities and playing styles to the music. We’ll do a few tunes separately and will surely play a few duets in our own way, but the majority of the evening will be to enjoy and remember the great music of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding.