Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

H. Keith Jackson

Committee Co-Chair

Constinia Charbonnette

Committee Member

David Taddie

Committee Member

Michael Vercelli

Committee Member

Mitchell Arnold


This dissertation examines the improvisational stylings of Curtis Fuller, Locksley “Slide” Hampton, Julian Priester and Grachan Moncur III from 1955 through 1964. In part one of this study, each musician is presented through their improvisational connections to J.J. Johnson, the leading trombonist of the Bebop era. His improvisational signatures are then traced through to the musical innovations of the Hard-Bop Trombone Era. Source material for this part of the study includes published books, dissertations, articles, online sources, discographies and personal interviews. Part two of this paper analyzes selected solos from each of the four subjects to identify the defining characteristics of the Hard-Bop Trombone Era. Evidence for these claims is bolstered by interviews conducted with the four men and their protégés. In a third and final part, a discography has been compiled for each artists during the defined era.

Through historical analysis of these four artists’ music and recording of first-hand accounts from the artists themselves, this document attempts to properly contextualize the Hard-Bop Trombone Era as unique and important to the further development of the jazz trombone. It is my hope that creating and preserving a historical record of these four musicians’ accomplishments serves as a valuable addition to the current research on this topic as well as for future studies in the field of Jazz Trombone.