[Dixielandjazz] Trombonist Al Gray

Dave Gravatt dave at creolejazz.com
Mon Mar 22 11:45:35 PST 2004

I've got an Al Grey story.

When I was in college, Central Missouri State Univ, in about 1979 our jazz
band went to a collegiate jazz fest in Wichita, KS and I was so thrilled
because both Al Grey and Dave Steinmeyer, then leader of the phenomenal
"Airmen of Note" (U.S. Air Force Big Band), were going to be there as guest
artists and clinicians. I found out where the trombone clinic was to be held
and raced there at the appointed time, so anxious to hear from both, but
especially from Steinmeyer who's albums I'd been listening to and wearing
out. (You can hear Dave here:
http://www.trombone-usa.com/steinmeyer_david.htm.) Anyway, there were about
30 or 40 wide-eyed student trombone players there and at the front of the
room, there they were, both Al and Dave.

Al started things off and began talking about mutes. Trombone mutes.
Plungers, straight mutes, cup mutes, harmon mutes, all kinds of trombone
mutes. How to play with mutes. How not to play with mutes. The science of
mutes. The physics of mutes. Mutes. More mutes.

It was weird. Long story short. I love mutes. I love Al. I love hearing Al's
version of mutes. But Al spoke for an hour and Dave Steinmeyer (the one most
of us were there to hear) never got a word in edgewise. I mean he never got
to open his mouth.

So my strongest memory of Al Grey is that, while he's a great player and I
enjoy and respect him and his playing, he sure couldn't keep his mouth shut
that day in 1979 and kept me from hearing even one word from another great
trombone player who, no doubt, also knows a lot about mutes, Dave

On a more positive side, I did get to hear a jazz legend speak for an hour
once. About mutes. And that is, in itself, pretty cool. I guess.

The Creole Dixieland Jazz Band
"It's a treat to beat your feet"
Dave Gravatt
Springfield, Missouri

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Bobolink7736 at aol.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 9:55 AM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Trombonist Al Gray

> Could someone please tell us about Al Gray and his trombone styles?
> Thanks,
> boblynn
> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

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