Slide Hampton


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Locksley Wellington "Slide" Hampton (born April 21, 1932 in Jeannette, Pennsylvania) is an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger. He was a 1998 Grammy Award winner for "Best Jazz Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)", as arranger for "Cotton Tail" performed by Dee Dee Bridgewater. He was also a Grammy nominee in 2005 for "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album," The Way: Music of Slide Hampton, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and received another nomination in 2006 for his arrangement of "Stardust" for the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band featuring Roberta Gambarini. In 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts honored Slide Hampton with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award. A masterly arranger and gifted trombone player, Hampton's career is among the most distinguished in jazz.

Laura and Clarke Deacon Hampton raised 12 children, taught them how to play musical instruments and set out with them as a family band. The family first came to Indianapolis in 1938. The Hamptons was a very musical family in which mother, father, eight brothers, and four sisters all played instruments. Slide Hampton is one of the few left-handed trombone players. Although not left-handed as a child, Hampton received a left-handed instrument from his father. At the age of 12, Slide played in his family's Indianapolis jazz band, The Duke Hampton Band, from 1945-1952. The Hampton family members in the band included Virtue Hampton Whitted (double bass), Aletra (harp, piano), Marcus (trumpet), Dawn (alto sax), Russell "Lucky" (baritone-tenor-alto saxes), Locksley "Slide" (trombone, flugelhorn), Clarke, Jr. "Duke" (saxophones, drum, timpani, vibraharp), and Maceo (trumpet). The Hampton band got steady work performing as the house band at the Sunset Terrace on Indiana Avenue before becoming the house band at Cincinnatis Cotton Club. It was there that they recorded Lonesome Women Blues by Aletra, and she sang Baby Please Be Good To Me and The Push, written by Lucky Hampton. The group recorded on the King and Aladdin labels, but disbanded after having appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, and the Savoy Ballroom in New York City. In the 1950s, his sisters Virtue, Aletra, and Carmalita formed the Hampton Sisters after Dawn went to New York and became an established cabaret singer and songwriter. The Hampton Sisters, performing for over 75 years!

By 1952, at the age of 20, Slide was performing at Carnegie Hall with the Lionel Hampton Band. He played with the Buddy Johnson's R&B band from 1955-1956, then became a member of the Maynard Ferguson's band (1957-1959), where he played and arranged, providing excitement on such popular tunes as "The Fugue," "Three Little Foxes" and "Slides Derangement." In 1958, he recorded with trombone masters on the classic release of Melba Liston, "Melba Liston and Her 'Bones". As his reputation grew, he soon began working with bands led by Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron in 1969, Barry Harris, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, and Max Roach, contributing both original compositions and arrangements. In 1962, he formed the Slide Hampton Octet, with horn players Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and George Coleman. The band toured the U.S. and Europe and recorded on several labels. In 1968 he toured with Woody Herman orchestra, settling in Europe where he remained until 1977. He taught at Harvard, artist-in-residence in 1981, the University of Massachusetts, De Paul University in Chicago, and Indiana State University. During this period he led his own nine-trombone, three-rhythm band, World of Trombones, co-led Continuum (a quintet with Jimmy Heath that plays the music of Tadd Dameron), freelanced as both a writer and a player, and often worked in Dizzy Gillespie tribute projects, including with Jon Faddis and with his Jazz Masters. He also appeared on The Cosby Show 1986. The episode entitled "Play It Again, Russell", is a reference to "Play it again, Sam", a quote from Casablanca (1942). Hampton also played the trombone in Diana Ross Live! The Lady Sings... Jazz & Blues: Stolen Moments (1992) dvd.[

On October 30, 1999, he played in a recording of several pieces arranged in a book of sheet music called "Easy Jazz Conception," by Jim Snidero, which was designed to help students learning to play basic jazz. On June 4, 2006 with manager Tony Charles he promoted his first concert (a tribute to Jobim)

In 2005 Slide Hampton was honored at jazz fest in Indianapolis. There the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation inducted him into their Hall of Fame.

2007 Post-production documentary: Maynard Ferguson: The Unforgettable Real Story (2007), Hampton will play himself.

Hampton is a resident of East Orange, New Jersey. He is the uncle of Chicago jazz trumpeter Pharez Whitted. Hampton suffered a mild stroke in June 2008. Despite the stroke, Slide Hampton continues to perform on his trombone. Just a few days after the stroke, he played in Kilburn Hall at the Eastman School of Music for the Rochester International Jazz Festival.