Lawrence Brown (jazz trombonist)

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Lawrence Brown
Lawrence Brown 1943.jpg
Lawrence Brown in Duke Ellington's orchestra (1943)
Background information
Born (1907-08-03)August 3, 1907
Kansas United States
Died September 5, 1988(1988-09-05) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, Composer
Instruments Trombone
Years active 1932–1970
Labels Clef Records, Impulse! Records
Associated acts Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges

Lawrence Brown (August 3, 1907 – September 5, 1988) was an acclaimed jazz trombonist from California who achieved recognition with the Duke Ellington orchestra.[1] Brown worked throughout his career as a session musician, as well as recording his own solo efforts.


Brown began his career with Charlie Echols and Paul Howard. In 1932 he joined Duke Ellington. His great technical command of the instrument, with its "creamy tone, neurotic vibrato and range" was featured with Ellington's band every year in compositions such as "Blue Cellophane" and "Golden Cress."

Brown left Ellington's band in 1951 to join a band led by former Ellington sideman Johnny Hodges, where he stayed until 1955. After leaving Hodges, Brown took a position for five years with CBS as a session player. In 1960, Brown rejoined Ellington and stayed with him until 1970. After leaving Ellington's band the second time at the age of 63, Brown quit performing completely.

Brown fulfilled many roles in the Ellington Orchestra—as a balladeer, technical soloist, and section leader. His highly melodic ballad playing as well as his fast technical style inspired trombonists from Tommy Dorsey to Bill Harris.

Brown was married to actress Fredi Washington. He died in Los Angeles, California.



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