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Eddie Bert

Eddie Bert
Clark Terry and Eddie Bert at the trombonist's 80th birthday party at Town Hall, May 16, 2002

Looking wiry and fit, 80-year-old trombonist Eddie Bert opened his own May 16 tribute/birthday concert at New York’s historic Town Hall, the site of his legendary gigs with Thelonious Monk (1959) and Charles Mingus (1962). Backed by the George Gee All-Star Jazz Orchestra, Bert soloed fluently on his own compositions as well as tunes associated with the many popular bands with which Bert worked in the swing era, including vintage charts associated with Red Norvo, Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, Woody Herman, Sauter-Finegan, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis and Stan Kenton.

Bert’s trademark trombone tone, then and now, emphasizes the higher partials, and he uses a unique combination of vertical and horizontal melodic elements in his improvisations. Along with J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Benny Green, Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Cleveland, Julian Priester, Frank Rosolino and Jimmy Knepper, Bert is one of the original bop trombone players.

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