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After Hours with Art Hodes

 

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Jack Higginbotham
(May 11th 1906 - May 26th 1973)

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Filmed in Chicago for Art Hodes' "Jazz Alley" in 1969 featuring Smokey Stover trumpet, J. C. Higginbotham trombone, Tony Parenti clarinet, Eddie Condon banjo, Rail Wilson bass, and Harry Hawthorne drums.

Set List:

1 "Old Fashioned Love"
2 "Royal Garden Blues"

Born in Social Circle, Georgia on May 11th 1906, Jack Higginbotham and his twin brother were the youngest of fourteen children.

After his sister Eutris bought him a trombone he quickly taught himself the rudiments and began playing professionally with the "Neal Montgomery Orchestra" at age fifteen.

The young trombonist moved to Cincinnati, Ohio shortly thereafter where he began vocational training to become a tailor returning to Atlanta only to finish his formal education before returning to Cincinnati in 1924.

There Higginbotham took a job at General Motors and played at night with "Wesley Helvey's Troubadors". In 1926 he left the area to play with Gene Primus in Buffalo New York but soon joined another local group led by pianist Jimmy Harrison.

Jack relocated to New York City, in 1928 where joined the "Luis Russell Band" but left the group in 1931 to take the place of recently deceased trombonist Jimmy Harrison in Chick Webb's band.

After several months he left Webb to join the "Fletcher Henderson Orchestra" where he remained until 1933.

For the rest of the 1930's, Higgy worked with Lucky Millinder, the "Mills Blue Rhythm Band", and again with Fletcher Henderson before ending up in Luis Russell's band fronted by Louis Armstrong.

In 1940 J.C. Higginbotham formed a sextet with his long time friend and musical associate Red Allen and took up residency at the Cafe Society in New York City.

Higginbotham left the band in 1947 and began leading his own small groups, but would play with Red Allen once again during the 1950's Dixieland revival period.

During the final decade of his life after leading a tour of Scandinavia in 1962, multiple performances at the Newport Festival, and a number of television appearances Jack Higginbotham passed away on May 26th 1973.



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