Trumbauer, Frank "Tram" (May 30, 1901-June 11, 1956)
- Existence: May 30, 1901 - June 11, 1956
Frank “Tram” Trumbauer was one of the leading jazz saxophonists of the 1920s and 1930s, and is best known for the seminal recordings he made with cornetist Bix Beiderbecke in the late 1920s. His cool, delicate style influenced, among others, Lester Young, Benny Carter and Art Pepper, and the later Cool Jazz movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
Trumbauer was born 30 May 1901 in Carbondale, Illinois, and was raised in St. Louis. He studied violin, piano, trombone and flute, but held an unusual place in jazz working principally with the C-melody saxophone. He got his start playing in several dance bands in the Midwest and from 1925-26 led his own band at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, of which Beiderbecke was a member. Trumbauer and Beiderbecke went on to work with the orchestras of Jean Goldkette and Paul Whitemen, and from 1927-28 made landmark recordings including Singin’ the Blues and For No Reason at All in C.
Trumbauer led various recording bands during the late 1920s and into the 1930s, often using a contingent from Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, and occasionally showcasing his talents on alto sax, clarinet, bassoon, cornet and vocals. In the mid-1930s he played with Charlie and Jack Teagarden and then led his own band in California.
Trumbauer retired from the music business in the early 1940s to join the Civil Aeronautics Administration. After the war, he did studio work at NBC in New York with the Raymond Paige Orchestra, but except for occasional special appearances was inactive musically for the remainder of his life.
Frank Trumbauer died 11 June 1956 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Sources: Feather, Leonard. The Encyclopedia of Jazz. Revised edition. New York: Bonanza Books, 1960. “Frankie Trumbauer” [biographical entry]. The Red Hot Jazz Archive: A History of Jazz before 1930. Accessed 27 July 2009. http://www.redhotjazz.com/Trum.html.
Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:
- Kansas City 1