J. C. Higginbotham

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Jay Higginbotham, Pete Johnson, Red Allen, and Lester Young, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., ca. 1940.
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb.

Jay C. (Jack) Higginbotham (May 11, 1906 – May 26, 1973[1]) was an American jazz trombonist. His playing was robust and swinging.

Biography[edit]

He was born on May 11, 1906. In the 1930s and 1940s he played with some of the premier swing bands, including Luis Russell's, Benny Carter's, Red Allen's, and Fletcher Henderson's. He also played with Louis Armstrong, who had taken over Russell's band, from 1937 to 1940. From 1947 on he chiefly led his own groups. He recorded extensively both as a sideman and as a leader. He played for a long period in the forties with his ideal partner Red Allen, and then disappeared from the scene for several years.

Higginbotham led several bands in the Fifties in Boston and Cleveland, appeared regularly at the Metropole in New York between 1956 and 1959, and led his own Dixieland band there in the Sixties. He also appeared on the DuMont series Jazz Party (1958), aired on WNTA-TV.

During the tenure with Luis Russell, on February 5, 1930, a single session was issued under the name of J.C. Higgenbotham and His Six Hicks was issued on OKeh 8772, featuring "Give Me Your Telephone Number" and "Higgenbotham Blues". Musicians included Henry Allen, Higgenbotham, Charlie Holmes, Luis Russell, Will Hognson, Pops Foster and Paul Barbarin, all member of Russell's band.

He went on his first European tour with Sammy Price, appearing in Scandinavia, and worked once again briefly in 1964 with Louis Armstrong.

He died on May 26, 1973 in New York.[2]

Legacy[edit]

Higginbotham was considered to be the most vital of the swing trombone players. His strong, raucous sound on the trombone and wild outbreaks on stage were characteristic. Along with Jimmy Harrison and Jack Teagarden, Higginbotham contributed to the acceptance of the trombone in jazz music as a melodically capable instrument.

Discography[edit]

With Tiny Grimes

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sanchez, Brenna. "Higginbotham, J.C. 1906–1973." Contemporary Black Biography. Gale Research Inc. 2003. Retrieved October 22, 2009 from Encyclopedia.com: [1]
  2. ^ "J. C. Higginbgotham, Jazz Trombonist, 67". The New York Times. May 28, 1973. Retrieved 2012-08-20. Jay C. Higginbotham, a leading jazz trombonist who played with Fletcher Henderson 40. years ago and in the late nineteen-thirties with Louis Arm strong, died Saturday night in Harlem Hospital. ... 

External links[edit]