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Lawrence Brown (1893 - 1972)

Lawrence Brown studied piano, violin, and tuba before settling on slide trombone. He joined Paul Howard’s Quality Serenaders in 1929 and Les Hite’s Orchestra in 1930 before signing on with Duke Ellington in 1932 where he would stay until 1951. He was a virtuoso on slide and part of the premiere band which was recorded in concert in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1940. Although he recorded only twice on his own, he is richly featured in the Ellington band recordings.

He left Ellington to become part of Johnny Hodges’ small group until 1955 when he concentrated on studio work. He rejoined Ellington in 1960 and retired in 1970. Most critics consider him to be one of the finest swing trombonists and greatly underrated.

-- Sandra Burlingame

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