He picked up the trombone, which both older brothers played, when he was about 12. Although he listened to such trombone greats as Tommy Dorsey, J. C. Higginbotham, Jack Jenney, Jack Teagarden and Trummy Young he has said that he was more influenced by the styles of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young.
Urbie's trombone style was also influenced by vocalists such as Perry Como, and the vocal style of Louis Armstrong. Green's father died when he was 15 and Urbie went straight into professional music, first joining the Tommy Reynolds Band in California before moving on to stints with Bob Strong, Jan Savitt, and Frankie Carle. Green also played with The Auburn Knights Orchestra, a college big band based in Auburn, Alabama while attending Auburn High School. In 1947, Green joined Gene Krupa's band and quickly moved up to Woody Herman's third "Thundering Herd" big band in 1950 to play with his brother, Jack. His soaring ballad style was featured on such solos as Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark", and provided a contrast to Herman's previous First Herd rough-and-ready trombone star, Bill Harris. In 1953 he moved to New York City, quickly establishing himself as the premier trombonist in the booming recording industry and in 1954 he was voted the "New Star" trombonist in the International Critics Poll from Down Beat magazine.
His style was not as blues-influenced as others, in that he was among the few players who commanded the high tessitura favored by Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Jack Jenney with an agility that was not shown by these previous trombonists in their recordings. Some of his solos provided the highlights on one-hit wonder albums from Verve Records, such as that of organist Walter Wanderly, as well as established artists like Herbie Mann. He recorded with virtually all of the major jazz musicians of the 1950s and 1960s and led his own groups while also joining tours as a featured performer, including a three-month tour leading the Benny Goodman Orchestra and fronting the Tommy Dorsey orchestra after Dorsey's death in 1956. He collaborated with innovative producer Enoch Light for the Command and Project 3 labels, producing what are probably his most notable recordings, such as the two-volume sets The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green and 21 Trombones. Furthermore, he was sideman and soloist on the album project "'s Continental" by Ray Conniff and his orchestra & chorus (1961). The 1980s and beyond saw a slowing down of Urbie Green's recording career. Both albums recorded by him during this period are live, straight jazz works; Just Friends, and Sea Jam Blues. He spent his later life with his second wife Kathy, a jazz singer, at their home in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.
The couple have two children, Jesse and Casey. Jesse is a jazz pianist and lives nearby, while Casey is a TV / Film Director / Producer in Los Angeles, California. Urbie's first wife was Darlein Dietz and they had two children, Urban Clifford Green Jr. and James Preston Green.
Urban has a daughter, Gretchen Alexandra Pöelker-Green, who lives in Sea Cliff, New York. James lives in Tallahassee, Florida, and has a son named Vincent. In 1995 he was elected into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Urbie Green continued playing live at the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Festival every September into the last years of his life, just miles down the road from his home. Green's obituary was published in the Pocono Record. Discography As leader 1953New Faces, New Sounds (Blue Note) 1954Urbie Green Septet (Blue Note) 1954Urbie Green and His Band (Vanguard) 1954 A Cool Yuletide (X) 1955Blues and Other Shades of Green (ABC-Paramount) 1955The Melodic Tones of Urbie Green (Bethlehem) 1955East Coast Jazz, Volume 6 (Bethlehem) 1955The Lyrical Language of Urbie Green(Bethlehem) 1955The Melodic Tones of Urbie Green (Vanguard) 1955Blues and Other Shades of Green (Paramount) 1956 All About Urbie Green and His Big Band (ABC-Paramount) 1957Urbie Green Octet / Slidin' Swing (Jazztone) 1957Let's Face the Music and Dance (RCA) 1958Best of New Broadway Show Hits (RCA) 1960The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green (Command) 1961The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie Green Volume 2 (Command) 1963Urbie Green and His 6-Tet.(Command) 196721 Trombones (Project 3) 1971Green Power(Project 3) 1972Bein' Green(Project 3) 1973 Old Time Modern (RCA) (recorded in 1954) 197321 Trombones Volume 2 (Project 3) 1974Urbie Green's Big Beautiful Band(Project 3) 1976The Fox(CTI) 1977Señor Blues (CTI) 1978Live at Rick's Cafe American(Flying Fish) 1981Just Friends (EJ) 1995Sea Jam Blues (Chiaroscuro) As sideman With Manny Albam The Drum Suite (RCA Victor, 1956) with Ernie Wilkins Jazz Goes to the Movies (Impulse!, 1963) With Steve Allen Jazz for Tonight (Coral, 1955) With Trigger Alpert Trigger Happy! (Riverside, 1956) With The Count Basie Orchestra This Time by Basie! (Reprise, 1963) Ella and Basie! (Verve, 1963) Basie Land (Verve, 1964) With Ruth Brown Ruth Brown '65 (Mainstream, 1965) With Ray Bryant Madison Time (Columbia, 1960) With Kenny Burrell Blues - The Common Ground (Verve, 1968) Night Song (Verve, 1969) With Ron Carter Parade (Milestone, 1979) With Buck Clayton The Huckle-Buck and Robbins' Nest (Columbia, 1954) How Hi the Fi (Columbia, 1954) Jumpin' at the Woodside (Columbia, 1955) All the Cats Join In (Columbia 1956) With Al Cohn Son of Drum Suite (RCA Victor, 1960) With Ray Conniff 's Continental (Columbia, 1961) With Paul Desmond Summertime (A&M/CTI, 1968) With Bill Evans Symbiosis (MPS, 1974) With Gil Evans Into the Hot (Impulse!, 1961) With Art Farmer Listen to Art Farmer and the Orchestra (Mercury, 1962) With Maynard Ferguson The Blues Roar (Mainstream, 1965) With Aretha Franklin Soul '69 (Atlantic, 1969) With Dizzy Gillespie Gillespiana (Verve, 1960) Perceptions (Verve, 1961) With Johnny Griffin White Gardenia (Riverside, 1961) With Coleman Hawkins The Hawk in Hi Fi (RCA Victor, 1956) Wrapped Tight (Impulse!, 1965) With Billie Holiday Lady in Satin (Columbia, 1958) With Bobby Hutcherson Conception: The Gift of Love (Columbia, 1979) With Milt Jackson Ray Brown / Milt Jackson with Ray Brown (Verve, 1965) With Antonio Carlos Jobim Wave (CTI, 1967) Stone Flower (CTI, 1970) With J. J.
Johnson J.J.'s Broadway (Verve, 1963) With Quincy Jones The Birth of a Band! (Mercury, 1959) The Great Wide World of Quincy Jones (Mercury, 1959) Quincy Jones Explores the Music of Henry Mancini (Mercury, 1964) Quincy Plays for Pussycats (Mercury, 1959-65 ) With Irene Kral SteveIreneo! (United Artists, 1959) With Mundell Lowe Themes from Mr. Lucky, the Untouchables and Other TV Action Jazz (RCA Camden, 1960) Satan in High Heels (soundtrack) (Charlie Parker, 1961) With Herbie Mann Sultry Serenade (Riverside, 1957) Salute to the Flute (Epic, 1957) With Carmen McRae Something to Swing About (Kapp, 1959) With Gil Mellé Gil Mellé Quintet with Urbie Green and Tal Farlow (Blue Note, 1953) With Blue Mitchell Smooth as the Wind (Riverside, 1961) With Wes Montgomery Movin' Wes (Verve, 1964) With Mark Murphy Rah! (Riverside, 1961) With Oliver Nelson Impressions of Phaedra (United Artists Jazz, 1962) The Spirit of '67 with Pee Wee Russell (Impulse!, 1967) With Joe Newman I'm Still Swinging (RCA Victor, 1955) Salute to Satch (RCA Victor, 1956) With Chico O'Farrill Nine Flags (Impulse!, 1966) With Glenn Osser In My Merry Oldsmobile (DaJon, 1964) With Henri Rene Compulsion to Swing (RCA Victor, 1959) With Lalo Schifrin New Fantasy (Verve, 1964) The Dissection and Reconstruction of Music From the Past as Performed By the Inmates of Lalo Schifrin's Demented Ensemble as a Tribute to the Memory of the Marquis De Sade (Verve, 1966) Towering Toccata (CTI, 1976) With Shirley Scott Great Scott!! (Impulse!, 1964) With Frank Sinatra L.A. Is My Lady (Qwest, 1984) With Jimmy Smith Bashin': The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith (Verve, 1962) The Cat (Verve, 1964) With Sonny Stitt The Matadors Meet the Bull (Roulette, 1965) I Keep Comin' Back! (Roulette, 1966) With Stanley Turrentine Nightwings (Fantasy, 1977) With Walter Wanderley Rain Forest (Verve, 1966) With Dinah Washington The Swingin' Miss "D" (EmArcy, 1956) With Joe Wilder The Pretty Sound (Columbia, 1959) With Kai Winding More Brass (Verve, 1966) Dirty Dog (Verve, 1966) With Steve Lawrence Swingin' West Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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