Jimmy Cleveland

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Jimmy Cleveland

James Milton Cleveland (born May 3, 1926 in Wartrace , Tennessee , USA , † August 23, 2008 in Lynwood , California ) was an American jazz trombonist. He was best known as a trombonist in the Big Band of Lionel Hampton .


Jimmy Cleveland was born in Wartrace, Tennessee in 1926. He started playing the trombone at the age of 16 . In his youth he played mostly in a band formed by his musical family members, as well as in the orchestra at Tennessee State University. At the age of 24 he became a permanent member of Lionel Hampton's Big Band in 1950 , where he played until 1953. He then played as a freelance musician in countless bands in New York, including Gerry Mulligan , Quincy Jones , Dizzy Gillespie , Oscar Pettiford , Lucky Thompson , Miles Davis ( Porgy and Bess , 1958), Gil Evans , Oliver Nelson and Bill Berry and James Moody . In 1967 he was a member of Thelonious Monks Octet. He toured Europe with the Quincy Jones Big Band in 1959/60. Cleveland then moved to Los Angeles , where he was a highly sought-after studio musician. In 1993 he retired from the music business. Occasionally he performed in jazz clubs in Los Angeles for his own pleasure.

Play style

Jimmy Cleveland was known for his velvety, airy tone and his incredible technical brilliance. He was heavily influenced by JJ Johnson .

Recordings under your own name

  • Introducing Jimmy Cleveland and his All-Stars (Mercury, 1955)
  • Cleveland Style (Mercury, 1957)
  • A Map of Jimmy Cleveland (Mercury, 1958)
  • Rhythm Crazy (Mercury, 1959)

Web links