Tom Malone (musician)

Thomas "Bones" Malone (born June 16, 1947) is an American jazz musician, arranger and producer. As his nickname implies, he specializes on the trombone, but also plays trumpet, tuba, various saxophones, clarinets, flutes, piccolo and other instruments.

Tom Malone
Born (1947-06-16) June 16, 1947
Honolulu, Hawaii
InstrumentsTrombone, various instruments
Years active1969-present
Associated actsThe Blues Brothers
CBS Orchestra
Saturday Night Live Band
Jaroslav Jakubovič
Lt. Dan Band

He is famous for being a member of The Blues Brothers band, Saturday Night Live Band (served as leader of the band from 1981 to 1985), and a member of the CBS Orchestra, the house band for the Late Show with David Letterman.

Early life

Malone was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, Cdr. Odie Malone, was a US Navy pilot who survived Pearl Harbor. Tom graduated from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) along with fellow Blues Brothers bandmate Lou Marini. Both were members of the school's world-renowned One O'Clock Lab Band.

He began playing professionally as lead trumpet with Brenda Lee at a club in Jackson, Mississippi while enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi. In response to a call from Warren Covington, leader of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, he expanded into contracting musicians. After transferring to North Texas State University, Malone continued working as both a player and a contractor for a variety of groups.


Upon graduation, Malone worked in bands of Woody Herman (1969), Duke Pearson (1970), Louie Bellson (1971), Doc Severinsen, Frank Zappa (1972) and Blood, Sweat & Tears (1973). In 1973, Malone began a close, 15-year association with Gil Evans, who exerted considerable musical influence on him. With Evans, Malone recorded seven albums and toured Europe, Japan and the Far East. In 1975, Malone toured with Billy Cobham, in 1976 with the Band.

After he was heard performing with Ten Wheel Drive and Genya Ravan, he received a call from Saturday Night Live (SNL), a new and revolutionary, late-night comedy show on NBC. Malone arranged for the show from 1975 to 1985 and served as musical director from 1981 to 1985. A single SNL comedy skit which featured John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd mushroomed into The Blues Brothers; Malone wrote the chart for that first skit, then continued as an integral member of the Blues Brothers musical organization. His writing and performance may be found on all Blues Brothers recordings and in The Blues Brothers film score. In the movie he appears as a fictionalized version of himself. In 1993, Malone reunited with SNL veterans Paul Shaffer (keyboards), and Will Lee, (bass), in the CBS Orchestra. In 1997, Blues Brothers 2000 and the film score includes considerable contribution by Malone.

Malone joined the CBS Orchestra on November 1, 1993, and has contributed more than 1,600 arrangements to the Late Show.

As a studio musician, he has been heard on more than 1,000 records, more than 3000 radio and television commercials and over 4,000 live television shows. Malone has also played themes for CBS This Morning, Murder, She Wrote and the 1992 Winter Olympics, all on the CBS Television Network. His solo album, Soul Bones, features guest appearances by Paul Shaffer and Blues Traveler's John Popper.

Malone's additional feature film credits include The Last Waltz, Blues Brothers 2000 and Sister Act.

In 2007 Malone was invited by Music Director Geoffrey Moull to arrange and perform a concert with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 Malone was guest artist with the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

He frequently performs with Beatles tribute band the Fab Faux (as part of the Hogshead Horns) along with fellow CBS Orchestra member Will Lee. He frequently plays with the Blues Brotherhood, a Blues Brothers tribute band based in Pennsylvania.


  • 1992: Standards of Living
  • 1998: Soulbones

As sideman

With Ron Carter

With Gil Evans

With Stanley Turrentine

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