He started on piano at age 6 and went on to play xylophone and saxophone before settling on trumpet. He served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946 and in the military he played trombone. After the war he switched to bass trumpet and worked with Woody Herman and Sandy Mosse among others. He joined Herman's band in 1953 and in 1954-55 played with a reduced version of the band that also included Richie Kamuca. He and Mosse co-led an octet called Pieces of Eight late in the 1950s into the next decade.
^Max Harrison, Charles Fox, Eric Thacker, and Stuart Nicholson, The Essential Jazz Records, Volume 2: Modernism to Postmodernism (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000; ISBN 0720118220), p. 166.