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underrated trumpet players from the 60's, 70's...


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One of my favorite threads on the old BNBB was the "underrated trumpeters" thread. So, let's start a new one. Who are some of your favorites, and please cite the specific recordings that you have (or have heard) for those of us wanting to track some of these players down.

They don't have the be the very best trumpeters ever, just 'interesting' on some level, and deserving of a little more recognition than they normally ever get.

Here's an obscure one that I rather like, which I'll mention by way of quoting myself from another thread...

By the way, I tried to make the case for Vincent McEwan back on the BNBB.  I realize, he's only on like ONE real jazz date in his whole entire career, John Patton's "Boogaloo" - which was a session that was still in the can until like 1999!! ( :o )

Still, from that one date, I do think he's a curriously interesting trumpet player.  Sure, not at all compared to the 'big' names (and even the 'little' names!!).  But, I do really think that he's far more interesting than his incredibly modest output would indicate.  (I mean, he's like 10 times more obscure that Tyrone Washington!!)

And no, I'm not trying to make any kind of case for McEwan as being some long, lost 'great' trumpeter.

Just this: that he's far more interesting than I'd ever expect, for a guy who recorded on one and only one "real" (meaning "heavy" and somewhat "progressive") jazz album in his entire career.  And, on an album that didn't even see the light of day until 30+ years after it was recorded.

Come on - all of you who own "Boogaloo", admit it.  Based on his prior track record, and limited discography - he's a better player than you would have thought, no??

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Two trumpeters, IMHO, which should be on everyone's "underrated" list are Dizzy Reece and Howard McGhee.

I'd definately recommend any of Reece's four individual albums, or the Mosaic Select. For McGhee, I'd check out "Volume One" and "Volume Two." I particularly enjoy the first track on Vol. 2 entitled "Jarm." Tal Farlow smokes on this album.

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Charles Sullivan, ...

He appears on a Sonny Fortune album(probably not on cd), 'Waves of Dreams', and I saw him play with Sonny Fortune then, about 1980, I think. If you saw the guy then, you'd swear he couldn't possibly play a brass instrument. He was about 6'4" and I don't think he weighed more than 150 lbs., but he could blow bigtime. I wonder what happened to him. Anybody know?

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Philly -- Charles Sullivan played in pit orchestras on Broadway from 1981-95, according to the notes for his nice 1996 Arabesque album, Kamau, with Craig Handy, Kenny Barron, Rodney Whittaker, and Victor Lewis. (Kamua Adilifua is Sullivan's new name; don't know what he's doing now that he's left the Broadway field.) I heard him with that Sonny Fortune band, too. He sounded -- to borrow a phrase someone once applied to Jean-Pierre Rampal -- like he was using bottled air; when did he breathe? A remarkable player, and if memory serves, a fair bit more fiery in-person with Fortune than he is on the Arabesque album, good though it is.

BTW, Sullivan brings to mind another bottled-air guy, Carl Saunders. Definitely underrated, perhaps because he's such a great trumpeter player technically that you tend to think that he can't be that much of a thinker -- but at his best, I think he is.

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I would like to add Carmell Jones, and this is a good example.


Good call! Though this is the only recording of his (except some sideman things) I have so far (will pick up the Select some fine day...)

How about Johnny Coles? Love him!

His quartet album (on Epic, originally, I think, reissued on Koch) is one of my favourite trumpet quartet albums.


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