Roswell Rudd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Roswell Rudd
Rudd in 2006
Rudd in 2006
Background information
Birth nameRoswell Hopkins Rudd Jr.
Born(1935-11-17)17 November 1935
Sharon, Connecticut, U.S.
Died21 December 2017(2017-12-21) (aged 82)
Kerhonkson, New York, U.S.
GenresAvant-garde jazz, free jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator
Years active1957–2017
LabelsColumbia, Sunnyside, Universal, DIW, Verve

Roswell Hopkins Rudd Jr. (November 17, 1935 – December 21, 2017)[1] was an American jazz trombonist and composer.

Although skilled in a variety of genres of jazz (including Dixieland, which he performed while in college), and other genres of music, he was known primarily for his work in free and avant-garde jazz. Beginning in 1962 Rudd worked extensively with saxophonist Archie Shepp.[2]


Rudd was born in Sharon, Connecticut, United States.[1] He attended the Hotchkiss School and graduated from Yale University, where he played with Eli's Chosen Six, a dixieland band of students that Rudd joined in the mid-1950s. The sextet played the boisterous trad jazz style of the day, and recorded two albums, including one for Columbia Records. His collaborations with Shepp, Cecil Taylor, John Tchicai, and Steve Lacy grew out of the lessons learned while playing rags and stomps for drunken college kids in Connecticut.[3] Rudd later taught ethnomusicology at Bard College and the University of Maine.[4]

On and off, for a period of three decades, he assisted Alan Lomax with his world music song style (Cantometrics)[5] and Global Jukebox projects.[6]

In the 1960s, Rudd participated in free jazz recordings such as the New York Art Quartet; the soundtrack for the 1964 movie New York Eye and Ear Control; the album Communications by the Jazz Composer's Orchestra; and in collaborations with Don Cherry, Larry Coryell, Pharoah Sanders, and Gato Barbieri. Rudd had lifelong friendships with saxophonists Shepp and Lacy, and performed and recorded the music of Thelonious Monk with Lacy.[7]

Rudd and his producer and partner Verna Gillis went to Mali in 2000 and 2001. His album MALIcool (2001), a cross-cultural collaboration with kora player Toumani Diabaté[8] and other Malian musicians, represented the first time the trombone had been featured in a recording of Malian traditional music.[citation needed]

In 2004, Rudd brought his Trombone Shout Band to perform at the 4th Festival au Désert in Essakane, Tombouctou Region, Mali. In 2005, he extended his reach further, recording an album with the Mongolian Buryat Band, a traditional music group of musicians from Mongolia and Buryatia, entitled Blue Mongol. He also conducted master classes and workshops both in the United States and around the world.[9]

Rudd died of prostate cancer on December 21, 2017, at home in Kerhonkson, New York.[1] His archives were donated to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.[10]

Awards and honors[edit]


As leader or co-leader[edit]

Recording date Release date Album Label Notes
1965 1971 Roswell Rudd America Records
1966 1967 Everywhere Impulse! Also released as part of Mixed
1973 1973 Numatik Swing Band JCOA With the Jazz Composer's Orchestra
1974 1975 Flexible Flyer Freedom
1976 1979 Blown Bone Philips / Emanem
1976 1976 Inside Job Freedom
1979 1979 The Definitive Roswell Rudd Horo Rudd plays all instruments.
1982 1983 Regeneration Soul Note With Steve Lacy, Misha Mengelberg, Kent Carter, Han Bennink
1996 1997 The Unheard Herbie Nichols, Vol. 1 CIMP
1996 1997 The Unheard Herbie Nichols, Vol. 2 CIMP
1999 2000 Monk's Dream Verve Records
1999 2000 Broad Strokes Knitting Factory
2000 2000 Eventuality - The Charlie Kohlhase Quintet Plays The Music Of Roswell Rudd Nada
2000 2001 Live in New York Verve With Archie Shepp
2001 2002 Malicool Sunnyside With Toumani Diabaté
2005 2005 Blue Mongol Sunnyside
2002–2006 2007 El Espíritu Jíbaro Sunnyside With Yomo Toro
2004 2006 Airwalkers Clean Feed With Mark Dresser
2008 2008 Keep Your Heart Right Sunnyside
2008 2008 El Encuentro Mojito With David Oquendo
2009 2009 Trombone Tribe Sunnyside
2011 2011 The Incredible Honk Sunnyside
2013 2013 Trombone For Lovers Sunnyside
2016 2016 August Love Song Red House With Heather Masse
2014 2016 Strength & Power RareNoiseRecords
2017 2017 Embrace RareNoiseRecords

With the New York Art Quartet[edit]

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Russonello, Giovanni (December 26, 2017). "Roswell Rudd, 82, Trombonist with a Wide-Open Approach, Is Dead". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Archie Shepp Discography,; accessed December 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Profile Archived 2007-06-22 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed December 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "Bard Press Release: JAZZ AT BARD PRESENTS THE ROSWELL RUDD QUARTET IN CONCERT ON SATURDAY, MARCH 22",, February 18, 2003; accessed December 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Alan Lomax, Roswell Rudd, and Victor Grauer. "Cantometrics: an approach to the anthropology of music", Berkeley, Calif.: University of California, Extension Media Center, 1976.
  6. ^ "The Global Jukebox", Association for Cultural Equity; accessed December 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Peter Stone. "Roswell Rudd". Association for Cultural Equity; accessed December 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Kelefa Sanneh (February 18, 2004). "WORLD MUSIC REVIEW; When Cultures' Sounds Don't Match, but Echo", The New York Times; accessed December 22, 2017.
  9. ^ "Mitteleuropean Jazz Academy Roswell Rudd Master Class Meran/o (I)", YouTube; accessed December 22, 2017.
  10. ^ "What's News". The New York City Jazz Record. No. 200. December 2018. p. 5.
  11. ^ Jazz Journalists Association, Jazz Awards -- 2003;, accessed December 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Jazz Journalists Association Eighth Annual Jazz Awards - Winners;, accessed December 22, 2017.
  13. ^ Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards 2005;, accessed December 22, 2017.
  14. ^ Profile,; accessed December 22, 2017.
  15. ^ JJA Jazz Awards: 2010 Winners,; accessed December 22, 2017.
  16. ^ Roswell Rudd's Trombone Tribe 75th Birthday Party, JazzCorner;, accessed December 22, 2017.

External links[edit]