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Roswell Rudd

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Roswell Rudd (born Roswell Hopkins Rudd, Jr. in Sharon, Connecticut, on November 17, 1935) is an American jazz trombonist. Although skilled in all styles of jazz (including dixieland, which he performed while in college), he is known primarily for his work in free and avant-garde jazz. Since 1962 Rudd has worked extensively with saxophonist Archie Shepp, a close friend.

Rudd participated in key free jazz recordings, notably with the New York Art Quartet, on the soundtrack recording for Michael Snow’s 1964 film New York Eye and Ear Control, and Michael Mantler & Carla Bley’s 1968 Jazz Composer’s Orchestra - Communications featuring Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri. A major factor in Rudd’s career has been his lifelong friendship with Steve Lacy and their numerous recordings and performances of the music of Thelonious Monk.

Rudd graduated from Yale University where he had played with Eli’s Chosen Six, a dixieland band of Yale students that Rudd joined in the mid-’50s. The sextet played the boisterous trad-jazz style of the day and even made two albums, including one for Columbia. JazzTimes Magazine said that “…all of Rudd’s future endeavors—including his landmark collaborations with Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, John Tchicai and Steve Lacy—grew out of the lessons learned while playing rags and stomps for drunken college kids in Connecticut.

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