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J. C. Higginbotham

J. C. Higginbotham

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J. C. Higginbotham (May 11, 1906 – May 26, 1973) was an American jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 trombonist. His playing was robust and swinging.

In the 1930s and 1940s he played with some of the premier swing
Swing (genre)
Swing music, also known as swing jazz or simply swing, is a form of jazz music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1935 in the United States...

 bands, including Luis Russell
Luis Russell
Luis Russell was a jazz pianist and bandleader.Luis Carl Russell was born on Careening Cay, near Bocas del Toro, Panama, in a family of Afro-Caribbean ancestry. His father was a music teacher, and young Luis learned to play violin, guitar, trombone, and piano...

's, Benny Carter
Benny Carter
Bennett Lester Carter was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He was a major figure in jazz from the 1930s to the 1990s, and was recognized as such by other jazz musicians who called him King...

's, Red Allen
Red Allen
Henry James "Red" Allen was a jazz trumpeter and vocalist whose style has been claimed to be the first to fully incorporate the innovations of Louis Armstrong.-Life and career:...

's, and Fletcher Henderson
Fletcher Henderson
James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. His was one of the most prolific black orchestras and his influence was vast...

's. He also played with Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong , nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana....

, who had taken over Russell's band, from 1937 to 1940. From 1947 on he chiefly led his own groups. He recorded extensively both as a sideman and as a leader. He played for a long period of time in the forties with his ideal partner Red Allen, and then disappeared from the scene for several years. Higginbotham led several bands in the Fifties in Boston and Cleveland, appeared regularly at the Metropole in New York between 1956 and 1959,and led his own Dixieland band there in the Sixties.

He went on his first European tour with Sammy Price
Sammy Price
Sammy Price was an American jazz, boogie-woogie and jump blues pianist and bandleader. He was born Samuel Blythe Price, in Honey Grove, Texas, United States. Price was most noteworthy for his work on Decca Records with his own band, known as the Texas Bluesicians, that included fellow musicians...

, appearing in Scandinavia, and worked once again briefly in 1964 with Louis Armstrong. After that things quietened down around Higginbotham. He died on May 26, 1973 in New York.

Higginbotham was considered to be the most vital of the swing trombone players. His strong, raucous sound on the trombone and wild outbreaks on stage were characteristic. Along with Jimmy Harrison
Jimmy Harrison
Jimmy Harrison was an American jazz trombonist.Harrison began on trombone at age 15, playing locally in the Toledo, Ohio area...

 and Jack Teagarden
Jack Teagarden
Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden , known as "Big T" and "The Swingin' Gate", was an influential jazz trombonist, bandleader, composer, and vocalist, regarded as the "Father of Jazz Trombone".-Early life:...

, Higginbotham contributed to the acceptance of the trombone in jazz music as a melodically capable instrument.