Roswell Rudd

Roswell Hopkins Rudd Jr. (November 17, 1935 – December 21, 2017) was an American jazz trombonist and composer.

Roswell Rudd
Rudd in 2006
Background information
Birth nameRoswell Hopkins Rudd Jr.
Born(1935-11-17)17 November 1935
Sharon, Connecticut, U.S.
Died21 December 2017(2017-12-21) (aged 82)
Kerhonkson, New York, U.S.
GenresAvant-garde jazz, free jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator
Years active1957–2017
LabelsColumbia, Sunnyside, Universal, DIW, Verve
Associated actsEli's Chosen Six, New York Art Quartet, Archie Shepp, Thelonious Monk

Although skilled in a variety of genres of jazz (including Dixieland, which he performed while in college) and other genres of music, he was known primarily for his work in free and avant-garde jazz. Beginning in 1962 Rudd worked extensively with saxophonist Archie Shepp.[1]


Rudd was born in Sharon, Connecticut on November 17, 1935.[2] He attended the Hotchkiss School and graduated from Yale University, where he played with Eli's Chosen Six, a dixieland band of students that Rudd joined in the mid-1950s. The sextet played the boisterous trad jazz style of the day and recorded two albums, including one for Columbia Records. His collaborations with Shepp, Cecil Taylor, John Tchicai, and Steve Lacy grew out of the lessons learned while playing rags and stomps for drunken college kids in Connecticut.[3] Rudd later taught ethnomusicology at Bard College and the University of Maine.[4]

On and off for a period of three decades, he assisted Alan Lomax with his world music song style (Cantometrics)[5] and Global Jukebox projects.[6]

In the 1960s, Rudd participated in free jazz recordings such as the New York Art Quartet; the soundtrack for the 1964 movie New York Eye and Ear Control; the album Communications by the Jazz Composer's Orchestra; and in collaborations with Don Cherry, Larry Coryell, Pharoah Sanders, and Gato Barbieri. Rudd had lifelong friendships with saxophonists Shepp and Lacy, and performed and recorded the music of Thelonious Monk with Lacy.[7]

Rudd and his producer and partner Verna Gillis went to Mali in 2000 and 2001. His album MALIcool (2001), a cross-cultural collaboration with kora player Toumani Diabaté[8] and other Malian musicians, represented the first time the trombone had been featured in a recording of Malian traditional music.

In 2004, Rudd brought his Trombone Shout Band to perform at the 4th Festival au Désert in Essakane, Tombouctou Region, Mali. In 2005, he extended his reach further, recording an album with the Mongolian Buryat Band, a traditional music group of musicians from Mongolia and Buryatia, entitled Blue Mongol. He also conducted master classes and workshops both in the United States and around the world.[9]

Rudd died of prostate cancer on December 21, 2017, at home in Kerhonkson, New York.[2] His archives were donated to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.[10]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Roswell Rudd among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[11]

Awards and honors


As leader

  • 1965: Roswell Rudd (America)
  • 1966: Everywhere (also released as part of Mixed)
  • 1973: Numatik Swing Band
  • 1974: Flexible Flyer (Freedom)
  • 1976: Blown Bone (Emanem)
  • 1976: Inside Job with Enrico Rava, Dave Burrell, Stafford James, Harold White (Arista/Freedom)
  • 1978: The Definitive Roswell Rudd (Horo)
  • 1982: Regeneration with Steve Lacy, Misha Mengelberg, Kent Carter, Han Bennink (Soul Note)
  • 1996: The Unheard Herbie Nichols–Vols. 1 & 2 (CIMP)
  • 1999: New York Art Quartet: 35 Reunion (DIW)
  • 1999: Monk's Dream (Universal/Verve)
  • 2000: Broad Strokes (Knitting Factory)
  • 2001: Eventuality: The Charlie Kohlhase Quintet Plays the Music of Roswell Rudd (NADA)
  • 2001: Roswell Rudd and Archie Shepp Live in New York (Universal)
  • 2002: MALIcool (Universal/Sunnyside)
  • 2005: Blue Mongol (Sunnyside)
  • 2006: El Espiritu Jibaro (Sunnyside)
  • 2007: Keep Your Heart Right (Sunnyside)
  • 2008: El Encuentro (Mojito)
  • 2013: Trombone for Lovers (Sunnyside)
  • 2016: August Love Song with Heather Masse (Red House)
  • 2016: Strength & Power (RareNoise)
  • 2017: Embrace (RareNoise)

As sideman


  1. Archie Shepp Discography,; accessed December 22, 2017.
  2. Russonello, Giovanni (December 26, 2017). "Roswell Rudd, 82, Trombonist with a Wide-Open Approach, Is Dead". The New York Times.
  3. Profile Archived 2007-06-22 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed December 22, 2017.
  4. "Bard Press Release: JAZZ AT BARD PRESENTS THE ROSWELL RUDD QUARTET IN CONCERT ON SATURDAY, MARCH 22",, February 18, 2003; accessed December 22, 2017.
  5. Alan Lomax, Roswell Rudd, and Victor Grauer. "Cantometrics: an approach to the anthropology of music", Berkeley, Calif.: University of California, Extension Media Center, 1976.
  6. "The Global Jukebox", Association for Cultural Equity; accessed December 22, 2017.
  7. Peter Stone. "Roswell Rudd". Association for Cultural Equity; accessed December 22, 2017.
  8. Kelefa Sanneh (February 18, 2004). "WORLD MUSIC REVIEW; When Cultures' Sounds Don't Match, but Echo", The New York Times; accessed December 22, 2017.
  9. "Mitteleuropean Jazz Academy Roswell Rudd Master Class Meran/o (I)", via YouTube; accessed December 22, 2017.
  10. "What's News". The New York City Jazz Record. No. 200. December 2018. p. 5.
  11. Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  12. Jazz Journalists Association, Jazz Awards -- 2003; accessed December 22, 2017.
  13. Jazz Journalists Association Eighth Annual Jazz Awards - Winners; accessed December 22, 2017.
  14. Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards 2005; accessed December 22, 2017.
  15. Profile: TheJazzmandel; accessed December 22, 2017.
  16. JJA Jazz Awards: 2010 Winners,; accessed December 22, 2017.
  17. Roswell Rudd's Trombone Tribe 75th Birthday Party, JazzCorner; accessed December 22, 2017.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.