An analysis of the career and solo style of jazz trombonist Carl Fontana

John Wesley Parker

Abstract

Carl Fontana's ability and creativity as a jazz trombonist is held in high regard by his contemporaries, as well as by those who followed him. The significant aspects of his career were highlighted in a brief biography with historical and anecdotal information provided by jazz trombonists who new him and were influenced by him. Fontana's solo style was analyzed and compared through transcriptions of three improvisations performed during contrasting points in his career: "Intermission Riff" from 1956, "Just Friends" from 1978, and "It Might As Well Be Spring" from 1985. His influence on the jazz trombone community was discussed through interviews and surveys of successful jazz trombonists, musicians, and educators.