Winding in New York, ca. January 1947.
|Birth name||Kai Chresten Winding|
May 18, 1922|
|Died||May 6, 1983
New York City, New York, United States
Kai Chresten Winding (May 18, 1922 – May 6, 1983) was a popular Danish-born American trombonist and jazz composer. He is well known for a successful collaboration with fellow trombonist J. J. Johnson.
Winding was born in Aarhus, Denmark. In 1934 his family immigrated to the United States. He graduated in 1940 from Stuyvesant High School in New York City, plus that same year he began his career as a professional trombonist with Shorty Allen's band. Subsequently, he played with Sonny Dunham and Alvino Rey until he entered the United States Coast Guard during World War II.
After the war, Winding joined Benny Goodman's band, and later moved on to Stan Kenton's orchestra. Winding participated in the first of the Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949, appearing on 4 of the 12 tracks (while J. J. Johnson appears on the other eight, having participated on the other two sessions). In 1954, at the urging of producer Ozzie Cadena, he joined forces with Johnson to produce a highly successful series of trombone duet recordings, which were initially on Savoy Records and then on the Columbia Records label. While at Columbia, Winding experimented with different instrumentation in brass ensembles: the 1956 album Jay & Kai + 6 features a trombone octet, as well as Winding and Johnson performing on the trombone-like valved horn called the trombonium. Winding also arranged and/or composed many of the tracks he and Johnson recorded. Unlike most players who absorbed the "bebop" style, Winding notably used more overtly trombonistic slide and mute effects from the earlier eras of jazz, as had another former Goodman trombonist Bill Harris, sounds which Johnson studiously avoided.
During the 1960s, Kai had a long stint at Verve Records and under producer Creed Taylor made some of his most memorable jazz-pop albums. His best-known recording from this period is More, the theme from the movie Mondo Cane. Arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman, "More" featured what is probably the first appearance of the French electronic music instrument the Ondioline on an American recording. Though Winding himself was credited with playing the Ondioline, guitarist Vinnie Bell, who worked on the session, has said he remembers distinctly that the French electronic-music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey was the actual player. He served as Musical Director for the Playboy Club, in mid-sixties New York, when rock was beginning to edge out jazz as the fashionable club music.
While at Verve, Kai further experimented with various ensembles, made solo albums, and even an album of country music with the Anita Kerr Singers. In the late 1960s, Kai followed Creed Taylor to his new recording label at A&M/CTI and made at least two more albums with Johnson.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Kai recorded for a number of independent record labels. During this time, he continued to give clinics, play jazz concerts and even reunited with Johnson for a live concert in Japan. He was a member of the all-star jazz group Giants of Jazz in 1971-2. He also wrote instructional jazz trombone books that included transcribed solos.
Albums with J. J. Johnson as co-leader 
- 1954: Jay and Kai Savoy SV0163 (CD)
- 1954: An Afternoon at Birdland
- 1954: Jay and Kai Prestige
- 1955: 'Nuf Said Bethlehem 20-40062 (CD)
- 1955: Trombone for Two Columbia (LP); Collectables (CD)
- 1956: Jay and Kai + 6 Columbia (LP); Collectables (CD)
- 1960: The Great Kai & J. J. Impulse! Records MCAD-42012
- 1968: Israel (A&M/CTI)
- 1968: Betwixt & Between (A&M/CTI)
- 1969: Stonebone (A&M/CTI (Japan))
Kai Winding Trombones and solo albums 
- 1960: The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones (Impulse!)
- 1961: Kai Olé
- 1962: More! / a.k.a. Soul Surfin′ (Theme from Mondo Cane), featuring Kenny Burrell (Verve)
- 1963: The Kai Winding Trombones (Jazz Vault)
- 1963: Solo: Kai Winding (Verve)
- 1965: Rainy Day (Verve) V-8620
- 1967: Penny Lane and Time (Verve) V-8691
- 1964/1965 Modern Country (Verve) V6-8602
With Curtis Fuller as co-leader 
- 1980: Bone Appétit
- 1980: Giant Bones '80
As sideman 
|This section requires expansion. (February 2012)|
With Paul Desmond
- Summertime (A&M/CTI, 1968)
With Curtis Fuller
- Cabin in the Sky (Impulse!, 1962)
With The Giants of Jazz
- The Giants of Jazz (Atlantic, 1971) with Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Al McKibbon, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Stitt
With the Modern Jazz Quartet
- Jazz Dialogue (Atlantic, 1965)
With Lalo Schifrin
- New Fantasy (Verve, 1964)
- Kennedy, Shawn G. (8 May 1983). "Kai Winding, 60, Trombonist and a Leader of Jazz Groups". The New York Times. p. 26.
- Official website
- The Incredible Kai Winding at Trombone Page of the World
- Kai Winding at Allmusic
- Kai Winding discography at Discogs
- Kai Winding at the Internet Movie Database
- Kai Winding at Find a Grave