Al Grey Biography

Albert Thornton Grey, 6 June 1925, Aldie, Virginia, USA, d. 24 March 2000, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Early in his career Grey played trombone in bands in the US Navy but soon after World War II he joined Benny Carter, whom he always credited with extending his musical knowledge. After leaving Carter, Grey played in the bands of Jimmie Lunceford and Lucky Millinder. In 1948, he joined Lionel Hampton with whom he remained for five years. Briefly with Dizzy Gillespie, he then played with Count Basie for four years from 1957-61 - a spell that gave Grey maximum exposure worldwide (he later rejoined Basie from 1964-66 and 1971-77). When he later began touring as a single, and in a long and musically rewarding partnership with Jimmy Forrest, his success was assured. Very popular on the international club and festival circuit, Grey was an exciting and adventurous soloist, specializing in the use of the plunger mute. After Forrest’s death Grey teamed up with Buddy Tate and continued touring until Tate’s string of accidents and illnesses forced Grey back into solo appearances. He also appeared with his trombonist son, Mike.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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