Al Grey

Al Grey, June 6, 1925 – March 24,2000) was a Jazz Trombonist. He is best known for his association to the Count Basie Orchestra. Grey is best known for his plunger mutes (music) technique, which is comparable to Tricky Sam Nanton or Wycliffe Gordon. He also wrote an instructional book called “Plunger techniques”. Al Grey was born in Aldie in Virginia and grew to be a citizen of Pottstown in Pennsylvania. He served in the Navy during World War II, where he learned to play the trombone. He joined Benny Carter’s band shortly after his discharge and then the trombone section at Lionel Hampton. Grey was able to join Dizzy Gillespie’s big band in 1956 after some solo work. Al Grey was the perfect person to fill in for Count Basie on his European tour of 1957. Grey only performed with the Count in 1961. He was a leader of his own jazz combos and appeared with Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones. He was featured on Count Basie recordings, along with Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, and recorded “Snap your Fingers”. His talents as a trombone player were featured in the soundtrack to Steven Spielberg’s film The Colour Purple. Al Grey was a major contributor to post-swing jazz-trombone vocabulary. He will be remembered for both his charm and his ability to connect with audiences all over the globe. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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