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OBITUARY: Slide Hampton (1932-2021)

Slide Hampton, a slide trombonist and a prolific leader, composer and arranger for many of the most significant big bands of the post-war era, including several led by Maynard Ferguson, died November 18. He was 89. Though not as well known to jazz fans as J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Urbie Green or Curtis Fuller, Hampton was an in-demand sideman, arranger and leader whose smooth, punchy playing and whip-cracking arrangements delivered drama and daring. Here are 10 favorite tracks—including 8 as a leader and 2 as a player, composer and arranger—that will give you a fine sense of what made Slide Hampton special: Here’s Randy Weston’s Hi-Fly from Sister Salvation (1960).. Here’s Dizzy Gillespie’s Ow! from Somethin’ Sanctified (1960)… Here’s Horace Silver’s Strollin’ from Jazz With a Twist (1961)… Here’s Delilah from Explosion! The Sound of Slide Hampton… Here’s The Good Life from Back to Jazz With Slide Hampton (1968), recorded in Paris… Here’s Gillespie’s Con Alma from World of Trombones (1979)… Here’s Gillespie’s Tour de Force from Dedicated to Diz (1993)… Here’s Cherokee from Spirit of the Horn (2002), with trombonist Bill Watrous… Here’s Hampton’s composition, arrangement and horn on Three Little Foxes from Maynard Ferguson’s A Message From Newport (1959)… And here’s Hampton’s Slide’s Derangement from the same album… …

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