Harlan Feinstein's Home Page

The Jazz Horn

Jazz Artists

Jeff Agrell
David Amram
A very talented composer and hornist, Amram's played countless instruments and has studied music from all over the globe. Amram was playing in the New York area during the same period that Julius Watkins was, and played with him. They played together in Oscar Pettiford's group, usually at Birdland.
Tom Bacon
Thomas Bacon, horn soloist and recording artist, is a member of Summit Brass and the St. Louis Brass Quintet, and he performs worldwide as soloist, chamber musician and recording artist.
Alex Brofsky
Alex Brofsky is a New York City area hornist. He's performed and recorded with Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Lenny Kravitz, Gil Evans, McCoy Tyner, Woody Herman, Michael Brecker, Jim Hall, Grady Tate, Dexter Gordon, and many others. His acid jazz has been well-received on MP3.com, some songs reaching #1 there. Track down his recordings, and hear an interview, on his MP3 homepage.
Vincent Chancey
Chancey is the hornist for Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy. He's got a solo album out. I think Windplayer magazine #47 has info on him (I haven't seen it).
John Clark
John Clark has played as a sideman for many bandleaders (e.g., Paul Winter, McCoy Tyner), in addition to recording his own albums.
Junior Collins
Junior Collins was Glenn Miller's hornist in the Army Air Corps Band in England. He was one of the hornists playing on the landmark "Birth of the Cool" album.
Peter Gordon
Peter Gordon is a NYC-area hornist, a veteran recording artist in jazz, classical, rock, and broadway soundtracks. He's recorded and toured with Gil Evans, Eddie Palmieri, Chick Corea, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis band, and has a jazz octet entitled "French Toast." He's especially well-known and highly sought after as a recording artist, heard on hundreds of recordings and thousands of commercials.
John Graas
Seems to be the West Coast pioneer of the jazz horn, if not the pioneer. I've only tracked down two compact disc-released recordings of his so far. He played a Sansone single B-flat horn. See this website for details.
Burt Hardin
Doug Hill
Bill Hoyt
Mr. Hoyt is the horn professor at the University of Akron.
Pete Levin
Played horn with the Gil Evans Orchestra until the mid-70s when he switched to keyboards and John Clark took over the spot.
James MacDonald
James MacDonald has been playing horn for the Boss Brass since 1972, and plays musical theater in the Toronto area.
Martin Mayes
Scottish born, now living in Italy. His solo performances combine the horn with elements of theatre and movement to explore the space he is performing in. Has a solo CD "Unique Horn 1997" (listed in Jazziz's 1998 Top Ten Critics' Picks). He is a member of the Italian Instabile Orchestra and performed in Cecil Taylor's historic group "European Orchestra" which brought together many of Europe's leading contemporary jazz musicians.
Bob Northern
Bob Northern has taught at Dartmouth and Brown, and recorded under the name Brother Ahh for many artists, including Sun Ra.
Lloyd Otto
Played in the Boyd Rayburn band. More details?
Claudio Pontiggia
Has recorded with Miles; check out this info on the Vienna Art Orchestra to find out their history. There's a biographical page at http://memolone.isuisse.com but it's in French, so you may wish to use Altavista to translate it.
Bobby Routch
He is the professor of Horn at the Manhattan School of Music. I think he's a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, too.
Willie Ruff
He's played with greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, and Miles Davis. He plays acoustic bass in addition to horn, and has written an excellent autobiography entitled, "A Call to Assembly." There's also a book on him and his long-time associate entitled "An American Profile" by William Zinsser. He plays a Conn 6D. Also, he's now got a home page.
Deborah Thurlow
She is a freelance musician in the New York area and in Europe. She founded a futuristic chamber music ensemble, Turn On The Music, which specializes in contemporary improvisation with a hint of Jazz and Rock influences through the use of electronic and processed sounds. Find out more about her at her website.
Arkady Shilkloper
From Moscow, Mr. Shilkloper performs frequently with the pianist Mikhail Alperin and together they have recorded in many formations, principally for the ECM label. You can find information about him at www.shilkloper.com.
Sandy Siegelstein
Jeff Stockham
One of the only hornists to have played with Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Jeff plays horn and trumpet in Thelonius Monk Jr's "Monk on Monk" big band. They perform the arrangements from Monk's Lincoln Center and Town Hall concerts. He freelances on both instruments in the upstate New York area.
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor has performed and recorded with an array of modern giants including: Max Roach, McCoy Tyner, Abdullah Ibrahim, Muhal Richad Abrams, Lester Bowie, and Basie bandleader Grover Mitchell. As a featured soloist with Henry Threadgill's Very Very Circus he toured throughout the United States, Europe and in Asia. As leader of his own groups he has performed at a number of clubs in New York City, including Birdland and the Knitting Factory and recently released his debut CD, QuietLand, which contains all original music. As a composer/arranger, he has written for Max Roach, pianist Larry Willis and most recently, has been touring with the So What Brass Quintet. He has also been commissioned to compose for theater and dance and this fall will be scoring his first feature film, Through The Fire, by filmmaker Monica Sutton. Visit the Mark Taylor Music website at http://www.mark-taylor.biz.
Rick Todd
Rick Todd is/was principal horn of the LA Chamber Orchestra and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He's also a staple in the horn sections of many studio orchestras in LA/Hollywood - Batman 3 for one.
Adam Unsworth
Adam is the featured hornist in the movie "Music from the Inside Out," plays in the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2006, he's just had his first CD release in the jazz idiom, entitled "Excerpt This!"
Tom Varner
A very well-recorded and well-traveled jazz hornist based in the NYC area, Tom has organized many of the Julius Watkins festivals so far and has given recitals at IHS festivals. He's got a website now, at http://www.tomvarnermusic.com/
Julius Watkins
One of the big pioneers of jazz horn, Julius was a NYC-area professional musician who's played on many landmark recordings. The liner notes from Les Jazz Modes tell us that he started on horn in 1930, and studied at the Manhattan School of Music.
Ken Wiley
Ken's an LA-area hornist and composer, a Yamaha artist, and a graduate of Manhattan School of Music. His first album was picked as an album of the week by Billboard Magazine. Visit his website at http://www.kenwiley.com

Julius Watkins Festival

In 1993, several hornists organized a Julius Watkins Jazz Horn Festival in New York City for the first time. In 1995, there were a huge variety of of hornists and their groups that showed up and played at the now annual Julius Watkins Jazz Horn Festival at the Knitting Factory in New York City. The 1996 festival took place on April 28th.

Those gigging at the 1995 festival included David Amram, Alex Brofsky. John Clark, Alexandra Cook, Doug Hill, R.J. Kelley, Marshall Sealy, and Tom Varner. Additionally, several students of these hornists attended, and the students and professionals alike participated in a group jam session.

In 1996, performing acts included: David Amram, Alex Brofsky, Kevin Frey, Bobby Routch, Debra Thurlow, and Marshall Sealy.

The 1997 festival occurred on January 25 in White Plains, New York. It was at the Trinity Lutheran Church. Players included David Amram, John Clark, Tom Varner, Vincent Chancey, and Marshall Sealy, among many others.

Jazz Horn Discography


Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Junior Collins, Sandy Siegelstein, Gunther Schuller)
Les Jazz Modes: The Rare Dawn Sessions (Julius Watkins)

Horn Features

Jeff Agrell: Repercussions
Tom Bacon: The Flipside
Vincent Chancey: Welcome Mr. Chancey
John Clark: Il Suono
John Clark: I Will
John Graas: International Premiere In Jazz
John Graas: Jazzmantics
John Graas: Jazz Studio, Vols. 1-2
John Graas: Jazz Studio, Vols. 3-4
John Graas: Jazz Studio, Vols. 5-6
John Graas: Music of John Graas
Burt Hardin: Horn
Fred Johannesen: Cooly Horn
Dave Lee: Under the Influence
James MacDonald: French Horn sans Frontieres
Martin Mayes: Unique Horn 1997
Jim Rattigan: Jazz French Horn
Jim Rattigan: Unfamiliar Guise
Bobby Routch: Something Old, Something New
The Mitchell-Ruff Duo: Virtuoso Elegance in Jazz (Willie Ruff)
Arkady Shilkloper: Hornology
Arkady Shilkloper: Live In Norway
Arkady Shilkloper: Pilatus
Jeffrey Snedeker: First Times
Mark Taylor: Circle Squared
Mark Taylor: QuietLand
Deborah Thurlow: I Am
Rick Todd: Rickter Scale
Adam Unsworth: Excerpt This!
Tom Varner: Covert Action
Tom Varner: Jazz French Horn
Tom Varner: Long Night Big Day
Tom Varner: Martian Heartache
Tom Varner: Motion/Stillness
Tom Varner: The Mystery of Compassion
Tom Varner: Second Communion
Tom Varner: Swimming
Tom Varner: The Swiss Duos
Tom Varner: Tom Varner Quartet
Tom Varner: The Window Up Above: American Songs 1170-1998
Ken Wiley: Visage
Ken Wiley: Highbridge Park
Various: 4 French Horns (Julius Watkins, David Amram, Fred Klein, Tony Miranda


AB+: AB+ (Alex Brofsky)
AB+: Absolution (Alex Brofsky)
AB+: Aloneness (Alex Brofsky)
AB+: One (Alex Brofsky)
AB+: Red Diaper Baby (Alex Brofsky)
AB+: Seething (Alex Brofsky)
AB+: Working Class (Alex Brofsky)
Franco Ambrosetty: Gin and Pentatonic (Alex Brofsky)
Rabih Abou-Khalil: The Cactus of Knowledge (Tom Varner)
David Amram: Havana-New York (David Amram)
Chet Baker: Pacific Jazz Years (Jimmy Buffington)
Gato Barbieri: Chapter Three (Ray Alonge)
Beat Demons: Fat Jazzy Grooves 11 + 12 (Alex Brofsky)
Beat Demons: Fat Jazzy Grooves 13 + 14 (Alex Brofsky)
Beat Demons: Ghetto Jazz (Alex Brofsky)
Carla Bley: Live! (Vincent Chancey)
The Carla Bley Band: Musique Mecanique (John Clark)
The Carla Bley Band: European Tour 1977 (John Clark)
Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy: I Only Have Eyes For You (Vincent Chancey)
Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy: Avant Pop (Vincent Chancey)
Joey Calderazzo: Secrets (John Clark)
John Coltrane: Complete Africa, Brass Sessions (Julius Watkins, Donald Corrado, Bob Northern, Jimmy Buffington, Robert Swisshelm)
Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain (Jimmy Buffington, John Barrows)
Miles Davis: Porgy and Bess (Willie Ruff, Julius Watkins, Gunther Schuller)
Miles Davis: Miles Ahead (Willie Ruff)
Miles Davis: At Carnegie Hall (Julius Watkins, Paul Ingraham, Robert Swisshelm)
Miles Davis/Quincy Jones: Miles & Quincy live at Montreaux (John Clark, Tom Varner, Alex Brofsky, Claudio Pontiggia)
Dominic Duval: American Scrapbook (Tom Varner)
East Down Septet: Channel Surfing (Tom Varner)
East Down Septet: Out of Gridlock (Tom Varner)
Marty Ehrlick: Just Before the Dawn (Vincent Chancey)
Gil Evans: Gil Evans & Ten (Willie Ruff)
Gil Evans: The Individualism of Gil Evans (Ray Alonge, Julius Watkins)
Jon Faddis: Hornucopia (Peter Gordon, Jerry Peel, John Clark, Fred Griffen)
Curtis Fuller/Hampton Hawes: French Horns (Julius Watkins, David Amram)
Dizzy Gillespie: The Big Band (Julius Watkins, John Burden, Andy McGovin)
Dizzy Gillespie: Gillespiana/Carnegie Hall Concert (James Buffington, Al Richman, Gunther Schuller, Julius Watkins, John Barrows, Richard Berg)
Dizzy Gillespie: Gillespie/Mitchell-Ruff Duo (Willie Ruff)
George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band: First Prize (Tom Varner, Sharon Freeman)
George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band: Theatre (Tom Varner, Peter Gordon)
Gigi Gryce: Nica's Tempo
Mark Harvey & The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra: Aardvark Steps Out (Marshall Sealy)
Julius Hemphill: Julius Hemphill (Vincent Chancey, John Clark)
Shirley Horn: Loads of Love
Shirley Horn: Shirley Horn with Horns
Freddie Hubbard: First Light (Ray Alonge, James Buffington)
Italian Instabile Orchestra: Live in Noci & Rive-de-Gier (Martin Mayes)
Italian Instabile Orchestra: Skies of Europe (Martin Mayes)
Italian Instabile Orchestra: European Concerts (Martin Mayes)
Italian Instabile Orchestra: Italian Instabile Orchestra (Martin Mayes)
Ed Jackson: Wake Up Call (Tom Varner)
Milt Jackson & Big Brass: For Someone I Love (Julius Watkins, Willie Ruff, Paul Ingraham, Ray Alonge, Robert Northern)
Bob James: Heads (Peter Gordon, Jim Buffington, Brooks Tillotson)
Bob James: Lucky Seven (Peter Gordon, James Buffington)
Bob James: Two (Peter Gordon, Jimmy Buffington, Al Richmond)
J. J. Johnson: The Brass Orchestra (John Clark, Bob Carlisle, Chris Komer, Marshall Sealy)
Hans Kennel: Habarigani Brass (Tom Varner)
Stan Kenton: City of Glass (John Graas, Lloyd Otto, George Price)
Stan Kenton: Cuban Fire
Neal Kirkwood: Neal Kirkwood Octet (Tom Varner)
Franz Koglmann: Make Believe (Tom Varner)
Franz Koglmann: Cantos I-IV (Tom Varner)
Les Miserables Brass Band: Manic Traditions (Marshall Sealy)
Les Miserables Brass band: Om-Pah (Marshall Sealy)
John Lewis: Wonderful World of Jazz (Gunther Schuller)
John Lewis: The Golden Striker (Gunther Schuller, Al Richman, Ray Alonge, John Barrows)
Steuart Liebig: Pomegranate (Tom Varner)
Manhattan New Music Project: Mood Swing (Tom Varner)
Rob McConnell/Mel Torme: Velvet and Brass (George Stimpson, James MacDonald)
Rob McConnell: Don't Get Around Much Anymore (James MacDonald, Judy Kay)
Rob McConnell: Overtime (James MacDonald, Gary Pattison)
Rob McConnell: Our 25th Year (James MacDonald, Gary Pattison)
Rob McConnell: Brassy & Sassy (James MacDonald, Gary Pattison)
Rob McConnell: The Brass is Back (James MacDonald, Gary Pattison)
Rob McConnell: All in Good Time (James MacDonald, George Stimpson)
Rob McConnell: Boss Brass & Woods (George Stimpson, Brad Warnaar)
Rob McConnell: Even Canadians Get The Blues (James MacDonald)
Rob McConnell: Jive 5
Rob McConnell: Live in Digital
Lynn McDonald: It's High Time (James MacDonald)
Lynn McDonald: Song For My Father (James MacDonald)
Jim McNeely Tentet: Group Therapy (Tom Varner)
Charles Mingus: Jazz Classics (Charles Matt)
Thelonius Monk: Thelonius Monk Quintet (Julius Watkins)
Monk/Rollins: Thelonious & Sonny (Julius Watkins)
Wes Montgomery: Day in the Life (Ray Alonge)
David Murray Big Band: Live at Sweet Basil Volumes 1 & 2 (Vincent Chancey)
David Murray Big Band: South of the Border (Vincent Chancey)
Paul Nash: The Soul of Grace (Tom Varner)
New York Composers Orchestra: First Program In Standard Time (Vincent Chancey)
New York Composers Orchestra: New York Composers Orchestra (Tom Varner, Vincent Chancey)
Roberto Occhipinti Latin Jazz Nonet: The Cusp (James MacDonald)
Orange Then Blue: Hold the Elevator (Tom Varner)
Jaco Pastorius: Birthday Concert (Peter Gordon, Jerry Peel, Steve Roitstein)
Art Pepper
Oscar Peterson: Swinging Brass/Bursting Out (Julius Watkins, Ray Alonge, Willie Ruff, James Buffington, Morris Secon)
Brigham Phillips Big Band: And It Really Was (James MacDonald)
Bobby Previte: Bump the Renaissance (Tom Varner)
Bobby Previte: Pushing the Envelope (Tom Varner)
Sonny Rollins: Old Flames (Alex Brofsky)
Sonny Rollins: The Way I Feel (Marilyn Robinson, Alan Robinson)
Bill Russo: Modern American Music
Peter Scharli Special Sextet: Blues for the Beast (Tom Varner)
Peter Scharli Special Sextet: Guilty (Tom Varner)
Roman Schwaller Nonet: The Original Tunes (Tom Varner)
John Scofield: Quiet (John Clark, Fred Griffen)
Bob Stewart: Then and Now (John Clark, Fred Griffen, Marshall Sealy)
Duane Tatro: Jazz For Moderns (Joe Eger, Vince de Rosa)
Cecil Taylor European Orchestra: Alms/Tiergarten (Martin Mayes)
Clark Terry: Color Changes (Julius Watkins)
Henry Threadgill: Carry the Day (Mark Taylor)
Henry Threadgill: Makin' a Move (Mark Taylor)
Henry Threadgill: Song Out of My Trees (Ted Daniel, Mark Taylor?)
Henry Threadgill: Too Much Sugar For a Dime (Mark Taylor)
Claude Thornhill: Best of Big Bands (two horns?)
Claude Thornhill: 1948 Transcription Performance
Claude Thornhill: Uncollected
Claude Thornhill: 1941/46 & 47
Ton-Art: Mal Vu, Mal Dit (Tom Varner)
Mccoy Tyner: Journey (John Clark)
Mccoy Tyner: Uptown/Downtown (John Clark)
Sarah Vaughan/Quincy Jones: You're Mine, You.
Vienna Art Orchestra: Artistry in Rhythm (Tom Varner, Arkady Shilkloper)
Vienna Art Orchestra: Swiss Swing (Claudio Pontiggia)
Vienna Art Orchestra: Two Little Animals (Claudio Pontiggia)
Various: Birth of the Cool Vol. 2 (John Graas)
Various: The Modern Art of Jazz (Julius Watkins)
Jeremy Wall: Stepping to the New World (Jerry Peel)
Jeremy Wall: Cool Running (Jerry Peel)
Bobby Watson: Tailor Made (Tom Varner, Bobby Watson)
Steve Weisberg: I Can't Stand Another Night Alone (In Bed With You) (John Clark)
Randy Weston: Uhura Africa/Highlife (Julius Watkins)

Loosely Jazz-Like

Tom Bacon: Nighthawks
Canadian Brass: Basin Street (David Ohanian)
Canadian Brass: Swingtime! (David Ohanian, Jeff Lang, Peter Gordon, Bob Carlisle)
Empire Brass: Braggin' in Brass (Eric Ruske)
Chuck Mangione: Chase the Clouds Away
Paul Winter: Canyon (John Clark)

Useful Books on Jazz Horn

Willie Ruff: "A Call to Assembly"

Written Music

Various, "Jazz Café, Vol. 1" (Tom Bacon, Vincent Chancey, John Clark, Richard Todd, Tom Varner)

Music and Play-Along CD

Various, Ken's Jazz Lounge (Ken Wiley)

Other Websites with Jazz Horn Info

David Amram's Homepage

Vincent Chancey's Homepage

John Clark's Homepage

John Graas on Myspace

John Graas Discography

Arkady Shilkloper's Homepage

Mark Taylor's Homepage

Adam Unsworth's Homepage

Tom Varner's Homepage


Tremendous thanks goes to the following people for their help in obtaining the information that you see in this document:

David Amram, Thomas Bacon, April Belfiore, Barry B Benjamin, Charlie Berg, Ron Boerger, Alex Brofsky, Brian Cole, Carl Ek, R Fay, Suzanne Feinstein, Moreno Gardenghi, Bruce Geller, John Henninger, Steve Herzfeld, Andrew Karre, Marilyn Kloss, Sean Kirkpatrick, Robert Linder, James MacDonald, Peter Macdonald, Paul Mansur, Robert Marlatt, Ricardo Matosinhos, Martin Mayes, Susan McKeever, George Napuda, Laura Neff, Alissa J Quick, Hugh Seenan, Marc Slakoff, Mark Taylor, Djak Thorgard, Lydia Van Dreel, Tom Varner, Alyce Whitman, and Ken Wiley.

Last updated by Harlan on 20 Apr 2010

Harlan Feinstein, harlan@feinsteins.net
Harlan's a brass musician as well as a database and website programmer.