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Bennie Green

Bennie Green was one of the few trombonists of the 1950s who played in a style not influenced by J.J. Johnson (Bill Harris was another). His witty sound and full tone looked backwards to the swing era yet was open to the influence of R&B. After playing locally in Chicago, he was with the Earl Hines Orchestra during 1942-1948 (except for two years in the military).

Green gained some fame for his work with Charlie Ventura (1948-1950) before joining Earl Hines' small group (1951-1953). He then led his own group throughout the 1950s and '60s, using such sidemen as Cliff Smalls, Charlie Rouse, Eric Dixon, Paul Chambers, Louis Hayes, Sonny Clark, Gildo Mahones, and Jimmy Forrest. Green recorded regularly as a leader for Prestige, Decca, Blue Note, Vee-Jay, Time, Bethlehem, and Jazzland during 1951-1961, although only one further session (a matchup with Sonny Stitt on Cadet in 1964) took place.

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“His execution is clearly defined, non-exhibitionistic and liberally impregnated with the devices and characteristic phrasing of the be-bop style, yet he always manages to retain something of the real jam session atmosphere.”
Raymond Horricks

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