He knew Mingus from childhood, but first worked with Phil Moore and Les Hite. After service in World War II he played with Boyd Raeburn before joining with Lionel Hampton in 1946. During the 1950s he worked with Ellington. As a member of Ellington's band he can be heard on Such Sweet Thunder (1957), Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book (also 1957), Black, Brown, and Beige (1958) and Ellington Indigos (1958).
In 1960 he left Ellington to work in a pit orchestra. Later he worked with Mingus and can be heard on the album Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (1963). In the 1970s he led his own octet and worked with pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi. In 1989 he was in the personnel for the album Epitaph dedicated to the previously unrecorded music of Charles Mingus.
Steve Turre, among others, have cited him as an influence.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2012)|
With Gene Ammons
- Free Again (Prestige, 1971)
With John Coltrane
- Africa Brass (Impulse, 1961)
With Tadd Dameron
- The Magic Touch (Riverside, 1962)
With Miles Davis
With Duke Ellington
- The 1952 Seattle Concert (RCA Victor, 1954)
- The Complete Porgy and Bess (Bethlehem, 1956)
- Such Sweet Thunder (Columbia, 1957)
- Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook (Verve, 1957) - with Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington
- Indigos (Columbia, 1957)
- Black, Brown, and Beige (Columbia, 1958) - featuring Mahalia Jackson
With Dizzy Gillespie
- Happenings (Impulse!, 1966)
With Junior Mance
- The Soul of Hollywood (Jazzland, 1962)
With Charles Mingus
- The Complete Town Hall Concert (Blue Note, 1962 )
- Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse!, 1963)
- Epitaph (Columbia, 1989)
With Blue Mitchell
- Smooth as the Wind (Riverside, 1961)
- Passion Flower: Zoot Sims Plays Duke Ellington (1979)
With Billy Taylor
- Taylor Made Jazz (Argo, 1959)
With Clark Terry
- Duke with a Difference (Riverside, 1957)
With Teri Thornton
- Devil May Care (Riverside, 1961)
With Jimmy Woode
- The Colorful Strings of Jimmy Woode (Argo, 1957)
- Ratliff, Ben (October 17, 2000). "Britt Woodman, 80, Big-Band Trombonist". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- "Britt Woodman: Jazz trombonist and linchpin of the Duke Ellington orchestra of the Fifties". The Times (London). October 19, 2000. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- "Britt Woodman". The Telegraph (London). October 18, 2000. Retrieved 2009-10-25.