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Jimmy Knepper

An excellent soloist with a unique sound not really overly influenced by J.J. Johnson, Jimmy Knepper’s improvisations are filled with delicate surprises. He started on trombone when he was nine, began playing expertly when he was 15, and worked well within the big rings of Freddie Slack (1947), Roy Porter (1948-1949), Charlie Spivak (1950-1951), Charlie Barnet (1951), Woody Herman, and Claude Thornhill. Knepper obtained popularity for his flexible and inventive using many of Charles Mingus’ groupings (1957-1962). He also caused Stan Kenton (1959), Herbie Mann (a 1960 tour of Africa), Gil Evans, Benny Goodman (a 1962 tour from the Soviet Union), as well as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra (1968-1974), furthermore to playing in the 1970s using the Lee Konitz non-et and Mingus Dynasty. Knepper’s popularity within the jazz globe has remained very good, although he hasn’t recorded that frequently as a head, cutting periods for Debut, Bethlehem (both in 1957), SteepleChase (1976), Internal Town, Blackhawk, Hep, Spirit Take note, and Criss Combination. Through the ’80s and ’90s, Knepper could frequently be discovered touring European countries, gigging often and occasionally documenting, an ever radiant weapon for hire. He also continued to be an active person in the Mingus Dynasty, anchoring the trombone section along with his exclusive shade and solos very much as he previously during his two short tenures with Mingus within the early-’60s and middle-’70s. Identified as having Parkinson’s within the ’00s, Knepper’s speed slowed significantly and on June 14, 2003 he passed on due to problems from the condition.

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