At Ellington ’93 in New York, Kurt Dietrich did another presentation on Ellington’s trombone players. On this occasion, he talked about Juan Tizol, Ellington’s valve trombone player 1929-1944 and 1951-1953 and occasionally in the early 1960’s.
In the presentation, Dietrich gives a short biography of Tizol but the focus is on Tizol – the trombone player.
He talks about Tizol’s stylistic features and illustrate them with excerpts of Twelve Street Rag (Jan. 14, 1931), Caravan (May 14, 1937), Battle Of The Swing (Dec. 19, 1938) and Come Sunday (Jan. 23, 1943). I
It is a pity that his presentation was restricted to 30 minutes because it is obvious that he had much more to share.
For those, who would like to know more about Tizol, Nanton, Lawrence Brown and other Ellington trombonists, Dietrich’s book Duke’s Bones: Ellington’s Great Trombonists is highly recommended.
Anyone, who would like to go deeper into Tizol’s life and career, should read Basilio Serrano’s biography Juan Tizol – His Caravan Through American Life and Culture
A three page overview of Tizol’s life, career and achivements written by Bo Haufman is available in DESS Bulletin 2011-2.
There exists also an interview in which Tizol talks about his time with Ellington.
Another interesting video is a short lecture in the Jazz Academy series in which the lead trombone player in the Jazz At LIncoln Center Orchestra, Vincent Gardner, demonstrates the Tizol way to play the trombone melody in Ko-Ko.