RIP: Roswell Rudd, 1935-2017

December 26th, 2017, 10:00 am by Greg
Roswell Rudd

Roswell Rudd

Photograph by Rudy Lu

Roswell Rudd, pioneering jazz trombonist, died last Thursday night at his home in Kerhonkson. He was 82 years old. The cause was prostate cancer.

He was a graduate of Yale University, taught for years at the University of Maine and worked as a researcher for ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax at Columbia University.

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He began his 60-plus-year musical career playing in the Dixieland band, Eli’s Chosen Six, but soon embraced the avant garde.

He was a member of the New York Art Quartet and played on a number of landmark albums, including Archie Shepp’s Four for Trane, the self-titled debut by Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra; Carla Bley’s sprawling Escalator Over the Hill, School Days with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and New York Eye and Ear Control by a collective featuring trumpeter Don Cherry, saxophonists Albert Ayler and John Tchicai, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray.

In recent years, he collaborated with a variety of fellow Hudson Valley musicians, including singer Heather Masse, keyboardist Jamie Saft and saxophonist Joe Lovano.

Rudd’s most recent album, Embrace, features vocalist Fay Victor, pianist Lafayette Harris and bassist Ken Filiano. It was released by the RareNoise label last month on his 82nd birthday.

LIVE: Joe Lovano & the Moment of Now @ Senate Garage, 4/15/17
LIVE: Roswell Rudd & Heather Masse @ the Falcon, 4/17/15
Gift Guide: Trombone Telegram