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Urbie Green

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Urbie Green
Urbie Green performing in July 1978
Urbie Green performing in July 1978
Background information
Birth nameUrban Clifford Green
Born(1926-08-08)August 8, 1926
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
DiedDecember 31, 2018(2018-12-31) (aged 92)
Hellertown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
LabelsVanguard, Bethlehem, CTI, Paramount, Command, RCA
Formerly ofWoody Herman, Gene Krupa, Jan Savitt, Frankie Carle

Urban Clifford "Urbie" Green (August 8, 1926[1] – December 31, 2018[2]) was an American jazz trombonist who toured with Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, Jan Savitt, and Frankie Carle.[3] He played on over 250 recordings and released more than two dozen albums as a soloist. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1995.

Early years[edit]

Green was born in Mobile, Alabama.[1] He was taught the piano as a child by his mother. He learned jazz and popular tunes from the beginning. He started to play trombone, which both older brothers played, when he was about 12. He listened to trombonists Tommy Dorsey, J. C. Higginbotham, Jack Jenney, Jack Teagarden, and Trummy Young, but said he was more influenced by the styles of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young. His style was also influenced by the vocals of Perry Como and Louis Armstrong. He attended Auburn High School, where he was a member of The Auburn Knights Orchestra.


When Green was fifteen years old, his father died, and he began his music career, first with Tommy Reynolds in California, then with Bob Strong, Jan Savitt, and Frankie Carle. In California, he finished high school at the Hollywood Professional School in Los Angeles.[4] In 1947, he joined Gene Krupa's band.[1] Three years later, he and his brother Jack became members of Woody Herman's Thundering Herd.[1]

In 1953, he moved to New York City, and a year later was voted New Star trombonist in the International Critics Poll of Down Beat magazine. During the 1950s and 1960s he toured with Benny Goodman,[1] and led the Tommy Dorsey orchestra after Dorsey's death in 1956.[1] He worked with record producer Enoch Light on the albums The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green and 21 Trombones. Green spent his later life with his second wife Kathy, a jazz singer, at their home in the Pocono Mountains region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

In 1995, Green was elected into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. He continued playing live at the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts Festival every September into the last years of his life.

Personal life[edit]

Green's obituary was published in the Pocono Record.[2]


As leader[edit]

  • All About Urbie Green and His Big Band (ABC-Paramount, 1955)
  • Blues and Other Shades of Green (ABC-Paramount, 1955)
  • Urbie East Coast Jazz/6 (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • Slidin' Swing (Jazztone, 1957)
  • Jimmy McHugh in Hi-Fi (RCA Victor, 1958)
  • Let's Face the Music and Dance (RCA Victor, 1958)
  • The Best of New Broadway Show Hits (RCA Victor, 1959)
  • His Trombone and Rhythm (RCA Victor, 1959)
  • The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green (Command, 1960)
  • Cole Porter Swings Easy in Stereo (Soundcraft, 1961)
  • Urbie Green and His 6-Tet (Command, 1963)
  • Twenty-One Trombones (Project 3, 1967)
  • Twenty-One Trombones Vol. Two (Project 3, 1969)
  • Green Power (Project 3, 1971)
  • Bein' Green (Project 3, 1972)
  • Old Time Modern (Vanguard, 1973)
  • Urbie Green's Big Beautiful Band (Project 3, 1974)
  • The Fox (CTI, 1977)
  • Señor Blues (CTI, 1977)
  • Oleo (Pausa, 1978)
  • The Message (RCA 1986)
  • Umpteen Trombones (Project 3, 1987)
  • Just Friends (Live at EJ's, 1996)
  • Sea Jam Blues (Chiaroscuro, 1997)
  • Indigo Moods (Jazz Hour, 2006)

As sideman[edit]

With Manny Albam

  • The Drum Suite (RCA Victor, 1956)
  • The Jazz Workshop (RCA Victor, 1956)
  • The Blues Is Everybody's Business (Coral, 1958)
  • Sophisticated Lady (Coral, 1958)
  • Jazz Goes to the Movies (Impulse!, 1963)

With The Count Basie Orchestra

With Tony Bennett

  • My Heart Sings (Columbia, 1961)
  • A Time, for Love (Columbia, 1966)
  • The Very Thought of You (Columbia, 1966)
  • Tony Makes It Happen! (Columbia, 1967)

With Buck Clayton

With Quincy Jones

With Mundell Lowe

With Astrud Gilberto

  • The Shadow of Your Smile (Verve, 1965)
  • Beach Samba (Verve, 1967)
  • That Girl from Ipanema (Image, 1977)

With Woody Herman

  • At the Monterey Jazz Festival (Atlantic, 1960)
  • Hey! Heard the Herd? (Verve, 1963)
  • In Person Woody Herman and His '51 Herd Live in New Orleans (Giants of Jazz, 1979)
  • The Third Herd (Discovery, 1982)

With Antonio Carlos Jobim

With J. J. Johnson & Kai Winding

  • Jay & Kai + 6 (Columbia, 1956)
  • Jay and Kai (Fontana, 1959)
  • J.J.'s Broadway (Verve, 1963)

With Enoch Light

  • Provocative Percussion Vol. 2 (Command, 1960)
  • Big Band Bossa Nova (Command, 1962)
  • My Musical Coloring Book (Command, 1963)
  • Film Fame Marvelous Movie Themes (Project 3, 1967)
  • Permissive Polyphonics (Project 3, 1970)
  • The Big Band Sound of the Thirties (Project 3, 1970)
  • Big Band Hits of the 30s & 40s (Project 3, 1971)
  • Big Hits of the 20s (Project 3, 1971)
  • Movie Hits! (Project 3, 1972)
  • The Brass Menagerie 1973 (Project 3, 1972)
  • The Big Band Hits of the 40s & 50s (Project 3, 1973)
  • The Disco Disque (Project 3, 1975)

With Van McCoy

  • Love Is the Answer (Avco, 1974)
  • Rhythms of the World (H&L, 1976)
  • The Real McCoy (H&L, 1976)
  • And His Magnificent Movie Machine (H&L, 1977)
  • My Favorite Fantasy (MCA, 1978)
  • Lonely Dancer (MCA, 1979)

With Hugo Montenegro

  • Ellington Fantasy (Vik, 1958)
  • Bongos and Brass (Time, 1960)
  • Arriba! (Time, 1960)
  • Overture, American Musical Theatre (Time, 1961)
  • Great Songs from Motion Pictures (Time, 1961)
  • Boogie Woogie + Bongos (Time, 1962)
  • The Great Hits of the 50's (Time, 1964)
  • Montenegro & Mayhem (Time, 1965)
  • Mira! (Mainstream, 1967)

With Jimmy Rushing

  • The Jazz Odyssey of Jimmy Rushing (Philips, 1957)
  • Little Jimmy Rushing and the Big Brass (Columbia, 1958)
  • Five Feet of Soul (Colpix, 1963)

With others


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 173. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ a b "Urban Clifford 'Urbie' Green". Pocono Record. January 5, 2019. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Urbie Green". AllMusic. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  4. ^ American School Band Directors Association, Phi Beta Mu (Newark, Ohio) (1970). The School Musician Director and Teacher. Ammark Publishing Company. p. 56.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]