Slide Hampton

Slide Hampton

Hampton at Jerusalem Jazz Festival
Background information
Birth name Locksley Wellington Hampton
Born (1932-04-21) April 21, 1932
Jeannette, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Trombone
Years active 1950s–present
Labels MCG Jazz, Atlantic, Epic

Locksley Wellington "Slide" Hampton (born April 21, 1932) is an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger. Described by critics as a master composer, arranger and uniquely gifted trombone player, Hampton's career is among the most distinguished in jazz.[1] As his nickname implies, Hampton's main instrument is slide trombone, but he also occasionally plays tuba and flugelhorn.


Early life

Slide Hampton™ was born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. Laura and Clarke "Deacon" Hampton raised 12 children, taught them how to play musical instruments and set out with them as a family band. The family first came to Indianapolis in 1938. The Hamptons were a very musical family in which mother, father, eight brothers, and four sisters all played instruments.[2] Slide Hampton is one of the few left-handed trombone players. As a child, Hampton was given the trombone set up to play left-handed, or backwards; and as no one ever dissuaded him, he continued to play this way.[3][4]

At the age of 12, Slide played in his family's Indianapolis jazz band, The Duke Hampton Band. By 1952, at the age of 20, he was performing at Carnegie Hall with the Lionel Hampton Band. He played with the Buddy Johnson's R&B band from 1955–1956, then became a member of the Maynard Ferguson's band (1957–1959), where he played and arranged, providing excitement on such popular tunes as "The Fugue," "Three Little Foxes" and "Slides Derangement." In 1958, he recorded with trombone masters on the classic release of Melba Liston, "Melba Liston and Her 'Bones". As his reputation grew, he soon began working with bands led by Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron in 1969, Barry Harris, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, and Max Roach, contributing both original compositions and arrangements. In 1962, he formed the Slide Hampton Octet, with horn players Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and George Coleman. The band toured the U.S. and Europe and recorded on several labels.


In 1968 he toured with Woody Herman orchestra, settling in Europe where he remained until 1977. He taught at Harvard, artist-in-residence in 1981,[5] the University of Massachusetts, De Paul University in Chicago, and Indiana State University. During this period he led his own nine-trombone, three-rhythm band, World of Trombones, co-led Continuum (a quintet with Jimmy Heath that plays the music of Tadd Dameron), freelanced as both a writer and a player. He also appeared on The Cosby Show 1986. The episode entitled "Play It Again, Russell".[6] Hampton also played the trombone in Diana Ross Live! The Lady Sings... Jazz & Blues: Stolen Moments (1992) DVD.[7]

On June 4, 2006, Hampton promoted his first concert at The Tribeca PAC in New York City (a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim) and debuted the Slide Hampton™ Ultra Big Band. The concert was the first of many planned for the near future.[8]

Hampton is a resident of North New Jersey.[9] He is the uncle of Chicago jazz trumpeter Pharez Whitted.

2009 saw the completion of four new compositions entitled "A Tribute to African-American Greatness". The songs honored Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Barack Obama. The songs contained accompanying lyrics written by Hampton and Tony Charles, arrangements honoring Thelonious Monk, Thad Jones, Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon and Gil Evans round out the program. The album will be recorded in 2010. He recently completed two new Big Band arrangements – "In Case of Emergency" and "The Drum Song" (both Hampton originals). These two songs (and others) will be available exclusively to universities and other educational institutions through Slide Hampton Musique Publishing.

Awards and honors

In 1998 he won a Grammy Award for "Best Jazz Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)", as arranger for "Cotton Tail" performed by Dee Dee Bridgewater. He was also a Grammy winner in 2005[10] for "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album," The Way: Music of Slide Hampton, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Planet Arts), and received another nomination in 2006 for his arrangement of "Stardust" for the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.

In 2005 Hampton was honored at the jazz festival in Indianapolis. There the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation inducted him into their Hall of Fame.[11]

In 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts honored Slide Hampton™ with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award.


As leader

Year Title Label
1959 Slide Hampton and His Horn of Plenty Strand
1960 Sister Salvation Atlantic
1960 Somethin' Sanctified Atlantic
1961 Two Sides of Slide Hampton Charlie Parker
1962 Jazz with a Twist Atlantic
1962 Drum Suite Epic
1962 Explosion! The Sound of Slide Hampton Atlantic
1962 Exodus Philips
1968 Mellow-dy LRC Released in 1992
1968 Slide Hampton Big Band Barclay
1968 Back to Jazz EMI
1969 The Fabulous Slide Hampton Quartet Pathé
1969 A Day in Copenhagen MPS With Dexter Gordon
1970 Umeå Big Band & Slide Hampton in Montreux Gazell With Umeå Big Band
1971 Trombone Workshop MPS With Albert Mangelsdorff, Åke Persson & Jiggs Whigham
1972 Life Music Carosello
1972 Jazz a Confronto 18 Horo With Dusko Goykovich
1972 Euro Jazz Supraphon With Václav Zahradník
1974 Give Me a Double MPS With Joe Haider
1979 World of Trombones West 54
1984 Art Farmer & Slide Hampton in Concert Enja With Art Farmer
1984 Cees Slinger-Slide Hampton Quintet in Concert Vara Jazz With Cees Slinger
1985 Roots Criss Cross With Clifford Jordan
1993 Dedicated to Diz Telarc
1997 Jazz Matinee Hänssler Classic With SWR Big Band
1998 Inclusion Twin
2002 Slide Plays Jobim Alleycat Productions
2002 Spirit of the Horn MCG Jazz
2002 Americans Swinging in Paris EMI
2005 Mellow-Dy LRC Ltd.
2006 The Cloister Suite Gryphon
2008 The Whit Williams' "Now's The Time" Big Band MAMA
2011 Two Sides of Slide Hampton Hallmark
2011 Essential Jazz Masters Stardust
2012 Happy Point Jazz Room
2012 Explosion! Hallmark
2013 Charlie Parker Records: The Complete Collection, Vol. 5 Universal Remasterings
2014 Drum Suite Parts I, II, II, IV & V (Bonus Track Version) The Jazz Corner
2016 Complete Studio Recordings by the Slide Hampton Octet (Bonus Track Version) Jazz Lovers
2016 Sister Salvation + Explosion! (Bonus Track Version) Treasury Jazz

As arranger

With Maynard Ferguson

With Dexter Gordon

With J. J. Johnson

As sideman

With Nat Adderley

With Art Blakey

With Robin Eubanks

With Maynard Ferguson

With Curtis Fuller

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Barry Harris

With Sam Jones

With McCoy Tyner

With Hank Mobley

With Charles Mingus

With Oliver Nelson

With Woody Shaw

With Randy Weston


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