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Al Grey

Archive interview in which trombonist Al Grey, who died in 2000, joins Alyn Shipton to select his key recordings with, among others, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie.

Trombonist Al Grey (1925 - 2000) was one of the most distinctive soloists in big band jazz, working with many of the most famous swing orchestras. In an archive interview, recorded just before his death 11 years ago, Al selects his key recordings with, among others, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie.

With his gap-toothed grin, pith helmet and extrovert trombone style, Al Grey was one of the most colourful characters in jazz. He and Alyn Shipton first met when Radio 3 broadcast Lionel Hampton's Golden Men of Jazz, for whom Al was musical director. They kept in touch, and not long before Al's death in March 2000, Alyn visited him at his home in Great Neck Long Island to pick the trombonist's favourite recordings from his voluminous catalogue.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 29 May 2011 00:00


Music Played

  • Count Basie

    I Needs to be Be'ed With

    Composer: Q. Jones Performers: Snooky Young , Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Wendell Culley, tp; Billy Mitchell, Charlie Fowlkes, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Marshall Royal, saxes; Al Grey, Benny Powell, Henry Coker, tb; Count Basie, p; Eddie Jones, b; Freddie Green, g; Sonny Payne, d. New York City, 18-20 Dec 1958.

    • One More Time.
    • Roulette.
    • CDP7972712.
  • Lionel Hampton

    Rag Mop

    Composer: Anderson / Willis Performers: Benny Bailey, Duke Garrette, Ed Mullens, Leo Shepherd, Walter Williams, tp; Al Grey, Paul Lee Higaki, Benny Powell, Jimmy Wormick, tb, Bobby Plater, Jerome Richardson, as; Johnny Board, Curtis Lowe, Billy Williams, ts; Lonnie Shaw, bs; Lionel Hampton, v, Doug Duke, p; Wes Montgomery, g; Roy Johnson, b; Ellis Bartee, d; Jimmy Scott, Sonny Parker, voc. New York City, 5 Jan 1950.

    • Hey Ba Ba Rebop.
    • Naxos.
    • 8.120766.
  • Dizzy Gillespie

    Dizzy's Blues

    Composer: Gillespie Performers: Dizzy Gillespie, cond, tp; Ernie Henry, Jimmy Powell, as; Benny Golson, Billy Mitchell, ts; Pee Wee Moore, bs; Lee Morgan, Talib Dawud, Emmett Perry, Carl Warwick, tp; Melba Liston, Al Grey, Ray Connors, tb; Wynton Kelly, p; Paul West, b; Charlie Persip, d. Newport Jazz Festival, 6 July 1957.

    • Dizzy's Diamonds: The Best Of Verve Years.
    • Verve.
    • 314513875-2 CD 1.
  • Count Basie

    Makin Whoopee

    Composer: Kahn / Donaldson arr Thad Jones Performers: Count Basie, p; Thad Jones, Joe Newman, John Anderson, Snooky Young, tp; Harry Coker, Benny Powell, A Grey, tb; Marshall Royal, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, William Mitchell, Charlie Fowlkes, saxes; Freddie Green, g; Eddie Jones, b; S Payne, d. New York City, 28 Dec 1959.

    • Dance Along With Basie.
    • EMI Japan.
    • 9634.
  • Frank Sinatra with Count Basie

    I've Got You Under My Skin

    Composer: Porter Performers: Frank Sinatra, voc; Count Basie, p; Quincy Jones, cond, arr; Bobby Plater, Eric Dixon, Charlie Fowlkes, Marshall Royal, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, reeds; Al Aarons, George "Sonny" Cohn, Wallace Davenport, Phil Guilbeau, tp; Henderson Chambers, Al Grey, Grover Mitchell, tb; Bill Hughes, b tb; Freddie Green, g; Norman Keenan, b; Percival "Sonny" Payne, d. Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, 26 Jan / 1 Feb, 1966.

    • Sinatra at the Sands.
    • Reprise.
    • 7599270372.
  • Count Basie

    Bag a Bones

    Composer: Neal Hefti Performers: Count Basie, p; Freddie Green, g; Frank Wess, Marshall Royal, Charlie Fowlkes, Ernie Wilkins, Bill Graham, Frank Foster, Floyd Johnson, Paul Quinichette, Billy Mitchell, reeds; Reunald Jones, Joe Newman , Joe Wilder, Paul Campbell , Snooky Young, Thad Jones, Wendell Culley, Charlie Shavers, Johnny Mandel, tp; Henderson Chambers, Henry Coker, Al Grey, Benny Powell, Bill Hughes, tb; Gus Johnson, Sonny Payne, d; Jose Mangual, Ubaldo Nieto, perc. New York, 4 Apr 1958.

    • Basie Plays Hefti.
    • Essential Jazz Albums.
    • EJA 047.
  • Tony Bennett

    She's Got It Bad and That Ain't Good

    Composer: Ellington Performers: Tony Bennett, v; Wynton Marsalis, tp; Al Grey, tb; Ralph Sharon, p; Paul Langosch, b; Gary Sargent, g; Clayton Cameron, d; orchestra arranged & conducted by Jorge Calandrelli. New York, 1999.

    • Hot and Cool - Tony Bennett Sings Ellington.
    • Sony.
    • CK 63668.
  • Harry “Sweets” Edison

    I May Be Wrong But I Think You're Wonderful

    Composer: Sullivan / Harry Ruskin Performers: Harry “Sweets” Edison, tp; Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, ts; Al Grey, tb; Art Hillery, p; John Heard, b; Roy McCurdy, d. Hollywood, CA, 15 Dec 1982.

    • Jatp 1983.
    • Original Jazz Classics.
    • 682 710.
  • Lionel Hampton’s Golden Men of Jazz

    Hamp's Boogie Woogie

    Composer: Buckner / Hampton Performers: Lionel Hampton, vib; Al Grey, tb; Hank Jones, p; Milt Hinton, b; Grady Tate, d. Blue Note Club, New York City, June 1991.

    • Lionel Hampton and the Golden Men of Jazz: Live At the Blue Note.
    • Telarc.
    • 83308.