May 25, 1926|
Valparaiso, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||January 22, 2004
Glendale, California, U.S.
Milt Bernhart (May 25, 1926 – January 22, 2004) was a West Coast jazz trombonist who worked with Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, and others. He supplied the exciting solo heard in the middle of Sinatra's popular 1956 recording of I've Got You Under My Skin, conducted by Nelson Riddle.
Bernhart (occasionally spelled Bernhardt) began on tuba, but switched to trombone in high school. At 16 he worked in Boyd Raeburn's band and later had some "gigs" with Teddy Powell. After time in the United States Army he worked, off and on, with Stan Kenton for the next ten years. He is perhaps most associated with Kenton, but in 1955 he had his first album as a leader. In 1986 he was elected President of the Big Band Academy of America.
Although known as "mild-mannered" or humorous, his brief period with Benny Goodman was one area that brought out his ire. He indicated working with Goodman was "the bottom", except for basic training in the Army, of his first 23 years of life. He called Goodman a "bore" and claimed he did nothing about the treatment Wardell Gray faced at a segregated club in Las Vegas. He even alleges that he quit because Goodman publicly humiliated Gray in front of an audience.
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- Theme Music from "The James Dean Story" (World Pacific, 1956)
With Elmer Bernstein
- The Man with the Golden Arm (Decca, 1956)
With Buddy Bregman
- Swinging Kicks (Verve, 1957)
With Sammy Davis Jr
- It's All Over but the Swingin' (Decca, 1957)
With Maynard Ferguson
- Jam Session featuring Maynard Ferguson (EmArcy, 1954)
- Dimensions (EmArcy, 1955)
- Maynard Ferguson Octet (EmArcy, 1955)
With Stan Kenton
- Stan Kenton's Milestones (Capitol, 1943-47 )
- Stan Kenton Classics (Capitol, 1944-47 )
- Encores (Capitol, 1947)
- A Presentation of Progressive Jazz (Capitol, 1947)
- Innovations in Modern Music (Capitol, 1950)
- Stan Kenton Presents (Capitol, 1950)
- Popular Favorites by Stan Kenton (Capitol, 1953)
- The Kenton Era (Capitol, 1940–54, )
- Kenton in Hi-Fi (Capitol, 1956)
- Lush Interlude (Capitol, 1958)
- Artistry in Voices and Brass (Capitol, 1963)
- The Innovations Orchestra (Capitol, 1950-51 )
With Junior Mance
With Johnny Mandel
- I Want to Live (United Artists, 1958)
With the Henri René Orchestra
- RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt (RCA, 1953)
- That Bad Eartha (EP) (RCA, 1954)
- Down To Eartha (RCA, 1955)
- That Bad Eartha (LP) (RCA, 1956)
- Thursday's Child (RCA, 1957)
With Pete Rugolo
- Introducing Pete Rugolo (Columbia, 1954)
- Adventures in Rhythm (Columbia, 1954)
- Rugolomania (Columbia, 1955)
- New Sounds by Pete Rugolo (Harmony, 1954-55, )
- Music for Hi-Fi Bugs (EmArcy, 1956)
- Out on a Limb (EmArcy, 1956)
- An Adventure in Sound: Brass in Hi-Fi (Mercury 1956 )
- Percussion at Work (EmArcy, 1957)
- Rugolo Plays Kenton (EmArcy, 1958)
- The Music from Richard Diamond (EmArcy, 1959)
- Behind Brigitte Bardot (Warner Bros., 1960)
- 10 Trombones Like 2 Pianos (Mercury, 1960)
- The Original Music of Thriller (Time, 1961)
With Lalo Schifrin
- The Cincinnati Kid (soundtrack) (MGM, 1965)
- More Mission: Impossible (Paramount, 1968)
- Mannix (Paramount, 1968)
- Bullitt (soundtrack) (Warner Bros., 1968)
- Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)
- Williams, Richard (3 February 2004). "Trombonist who got under Frank Sinatra's skin". The Guardian.
- Jenkins, Todd S. "West Coast trombonist and big-band enthusiast". Jazzhouse. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "Milt Bernhart recalls a troubled tour with Benny Goodman". Jazz Professional. 25 January 1950.
- Oliver, Myrna (27 January 2004). "Milt Bernhart, 77; Trombonist's Solo With Sinatra Drew Praise". Los Angeles Times.