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Slide Hampton

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Slide Hampton
Slide Hampton at a concert in August 1978
Slide Hampton at a concert in August 1978
Background information
Birth nameLocksley Wellington Hampton
Born(1932-04-21)April 21, 1932
Jeannette, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedNovember 18, 2021(2021-11-18) (aged 89)
Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Instrument(s)Trombone, tuba, flugelhorn
Years active1950s–2021
LabelsMCG Jazz, Atlantic, Epic

Locksley Wellington Hampton (April 21, 1932 – November 18, 2021) was an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger.[1] As his nickname implies, Hampton's main instrument was slide trombone, but he also occasionally played tuba and flugelhorn.



Early life and career


Locksley Wellington Hampton was born on April 21, 1932, in Jeannette, Pennsylvania.[2] Laura and Clarke "Deacon" Hampton raised 12 children, taught them how to play musical instruments and set out with them as a family band. The family first came to Indianapolis in 1938. The Hamptons were a very musical family in which mother, father, eight brothers, and four sisters, all played instruments.[3] His sisters included Dawn Hampton and Virtue Hampton Whitted. Slide Hampton is one of the few left-handed trombone players. As a child, Hampton was given the trombone set up to play left-handed, or backwards; and as no one ever dissuaded him, he continued to play this way.[4][5]

At the age of 12, Slide played in his family's Indianapolis jazz band, The Duke Hampton Band. By 1952, at the age of 20, he was performing at Carnegie Hall with the Lionel Hampton Band. He played with the Buddy Johnson's R&B band from 1955 to 1956, then became a member of Maynard Ferguson's band (1957–1959), where he played and arranged, providing excitement on such popular tunes as "The Fugue," "Three Little Foxes" and "Slide's Derangement." While with the Ferguson band he composed and arranged memorable charts such as "Frame For the Blues," "Go East Young Man," "Newport," Sometimes I Feel Lika A Motherless Child," "Ole" and "'Round Midnight." In 1958, he recorded with trombone masters on the classic release of Melba Liston, Melba Liston and Her 'Bones. As his reputation grew, he soon began working with bands led by Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron, Barry Harris, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, and Max Roach, contributing both original compositions and arrangements. In 1962, he formed the Slide Hampton Octet, with horn players Freddie Hubbard, and George Coleman. The band toured the U.S. and Europe and recorded on several labels.

From 1968


In 1968, he toured with Woody Herman's orchestra, settling in Europe where he remained until 1977. He taught at Harvard, artist-in-residence in 1981,[6] the University of Massachusetts Amherst, De Paul University, and Indiana State University. During this period he led World of Trombones, his own nine-trombone, three-rhythm band; co-led Continuum, a quintet with Jimmy Heath that plays the music of Tadd Dameron; and freelanced as a writer and a player. In 1986 Hampton appeared in "Play It Again, Vanessa," an episode of The Cosby Show.[7] He also played the trombone in Diana Ross Live! The Lady Sings... Jazz & Blues: Stolen Moments (1992), DVD.[8]

On June 4, 2006, Hampton and long time manager and writing partner Anthony-charles:Bey promoted his first self funded concert at The Tribeca PAC in New York City (a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim) and debuted the Slide Hampton™ Ultra-Big Band. The concert was the first of many planned for the near future.[9]

In 2009, Hampton completed four new compositions collectively titled "A Tribute to African-American Greatness". The songs honored Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Barack Obama. The songs contained accompanying lyrics written by Hampton and manager/writing partner Anthony-charles:Bey, arrangements honoring Thelonious Monk, Thad Jones, Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon and Gil Evans round out the program. He completed two new Big Band arrangements – "In Case of Emergency" and "The Drum Song" (both Hampton originals). These two songs (and others) will be available exclusively to universities and other educational institutions through Slide Hampton™ Musique/Music Publishing-in-trust.

Hampton was a resident of Orange, New Jersey.[10] He died on November 18, 2021, at the age of 89.[11]

Awards and honors


In 1998, he won a Grammy Award for "Best Jazz Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)", as arranger for "Cotton Tail" performed by Dee Dee Bridgewater. He was also a Grammy winner in 2005[12] for "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album," The Way: Music of Slide Hampton, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Planet Arts), and received another nomination in 2006 for his arrangement of "Stardust" for the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.

In 2005 Hampton was honored at the jazz festival in Indianapolis. There the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation inducted him into their Hall of Fame.[13]

In 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts honored Slide Hampton with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award.[14]



As leader

Year Title Label Notes
1959 Slide Hampton and His Horn of Plenty Strand
1960 Sister Salvation Atlantic
1960 Somethin' Sanctified Atlantic
1961 Two Sides of Slide Hampton Charlie Parker
1962 Jazz with a Twist Atlantic
1962 Drum Suite Epic
1962 Explosion! The Sound of Slide Hampton Atlantic
1962 Exodus Philips
1965 Harold Betters Meets Slide Hampton Gateway
1968 Mellow-dy LRC Released in 1992
1968 Slide Hampton Big Band Barclay
1968 Back to Jazz EMI
1969 The Fabulous Slide Hampton Quartet Pathé
1969 A Day in Copenhagen MPS With Dexter Gordon
1970 Umeå Big Band & Slide Hampton in Montreux Gazell With Umeå Big Band
1971 Trombone Workshop MPS With Albert Mangelsdorff, Åke Persson & Jiggs Whigham
1972 Life Music Carosello
1972 Jazz a Confronto 18 Horo With Dusko Goykovich
1972 Euro Jazz Supraphon With Václav Zahradník
1974 Give Me a Double MPS With Joe Haider
1979 World of Trombones West 54
1984 Art Farmer & Slide Hampton in Concert Enja With Art Farmer
1984 Cees Slinger-Slide Hampton Quintet in Concert Vara Jazz With Cees Slinger
1985 Roots Criss Cross With Clifford Jordan
1993 Dedicated to Diz Telarc
1997 Jazz Matinee Hänssler Classic With SWR Big Band
1998 Inclusion Twin
2002 Slide Plays Jobim Alleycat Productions
2002 Spirit of the Horn MCG Jazz
2002 Americans Swinging in Paris EMI
2005 Mellow-Dy LRC Ltd.
2006 The Cloister Suite Gryphon
2008 The Whit Williams "Now's The Time" Big Band MAMA
2011 Two Sides of Slide Hampton Hallmark
2011 Essential Jazz Masters Stardust
2012 Happy Point Jazz Room
2012 Explosion! Hallmark
2013 Charlie Parker Records: The Complete Collection, Vol. 5 Universal Remasterings
2014 Drum Suite Parts I, II, II, IV & V (Bonus Track Version) The Jazz Corner
2016 Complete Studio Recordings by the Slide Hampton Octet (Bonus Track Version) Jazz Lovers
2016 Sister Salvation + Explosion! (Bonus Track Version) Treasury Jazz

As arranger


With Junior Cook

With Maynard Ferguson

With Dexter Gordon

With J. J. Johnson

With Melba Liston

As sideman


With Nat Adderley

With Art Blakey

  • Killer Joe (Union Jazz, 1981) – with George Kawaguchi

With Robin Eubanks

With Maynard Ferguson

With Art Farmer

With Curtis Fuller

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Bill Hardman

With Barry Harris

With Louis Hayes

With Philly Joe Jones

  • Advance! (Galaxy, 1978) as arranger and performer
  • Drum Song (Galaxy, 1978 [1985]) as arranger and performer

With Sam Jones

With Hank Mobley

With Charles Mingus

With Mark Murphy

With Oliver Nelson

With Claudio Roditi

With Rob Schneiderman

With Woody Shaw

With McCoy Tyner

With Randy Weston


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness, page 1818, (1995) – ISBN 1-56159-176-9
  2. ^ Risen, Clay (November 24, 2021). "Slide Hampton, Celebrated Trombonist, Composer and Arranger, Dies at 89". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  3. ^ "The Hampton Sisters". Home.indy.net.
  4. ^ Bernotas, Bob (April 8, 2000). "An Interview with Slide Hampton". Trombone.org.
  5. ^ "Slide Hampton (Part 1) – WXXI Jazz Interview". YouTube. June 19, 2008. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  6. ^ "Harvard Jazz Band, 1981". People.fas.harvard.edu.
  7. ^ "Play It Again, Russell". IMDb.com.
  8. ^ "Diana Ross Live! The Lady Sings... Jazz & Blues: Stolen Moments (1992)". IMDb.com.
  9. ^ "Jazz Monthly.com Interview with slide hampton". Jazzmonthly.com.
  10. ^ Stewart, Zan, "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger, September 28, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 27, 2008. Accessed September 15, 2017. "Slide Hampton -- A resident of East Orange, Hampton is one of the premier trombonists and arrangers in modern jazz."
  11. ^ "Slide Hampton, trombonist who also made a lasting impression as a master arranger, is dead at 89". wbgo.org. November 22, 2021. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "Awards". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ Indianapolis Jazz Foundation honors Slide Hampton Archived August 10, 2002, at archive.today
  14. ^ "Slide Hampton / Trombonist, Arranger, Composer, Educator / 2005 NEA Jazz Master". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved November 25, 2021.