Your comments on the Greatest Imaginary Jazz Big Band Of All Time

Trumpets: Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gileespie, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis

Trombones: J.J.Jonson, Roswell Rudd, Ray Anderson

Alto Sax: Frank Morgan, Charlie Parker
Tenor Sax: Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins,
Baritone Sax: Pepper Adams

Guitar: Pat Metheny

Piano: Herbie Hancock

Bass: Charlie Haden

Drums: Jack DeJohnette

Percussion: Tito Puente, Nana Vasconcelos

I know the lineup represents my subjective decision - my favorite musicians within my narrowest choice of jazz - you know the deserted island stuff…

But I would like to hear the comments of other jazz fans too!

The trouble with this sort of All-Star band is that the musicians you choose are all great soloists, and not necessarily the best sidemen and ensemble players. Who’s to say they’ll all sound good together? (Also, no fair sticking in an extra tenor…standard big band saxes are AATTB!)

Okay, here’s mine…a nice big fat Stan Kenton-size ensemble:

Trumpets: Bix Beiderbecke, Henry “Red” Allen, Bunny Berrigan, Roy Eldridge, Don Ellis

Trombones: Jack Teagarden, J.C. Higginbotham, J.J. Johnson, Bob Brookmeyer

F Horn: Julius Watkins

Tuba: Bill Barber

Flute: Herbie Mann

Clarinet: Buddy de Franco

Stritchophone: Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Alto Sax: Johnny Hodges, Sonny Stitt

Tenor Sax: Lester Young, Sonny Rollins

Baritone Sax: Serge Chaloff

Guitar: Grant Green

Vibes: Milt Jackson

Piano: Phineas Newborn, Jr.

Bass: Paul Chambers

Drums: Max Roach

Percusion: Chano Pozo

Vocals: Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Rushing

Definitely Bix Beiderbecke on trumpet—but let’s put Buddy Bolden in, too, just so we can finally hear what he SOUNDED like!

Oh, don’t forget Bob Burns on the bazooka!

Ike’s got a good group going, but I’d like to see Louie Bellson on drums, Stan Getz as one of the tenors, and Ray Brown on base. Whoa!

Don’t forget Lionel Hampton on Vibes!


I am pretty sure if the guys I lined up were to share a stage, they probably couldnt play as a coherent band!

But just imagine what it would be ike if they just managed to do it right!

As for your your lineup…You came up with an even more eclectic choice of musicians there…:))

And a very interesting combination I am sure!!


Louie Bellson on drums is actually a great idea!!
He is my favorite drummer alond with Jack De Johnette…
THanks for reminding me, cuz if I had thought of h,s name while typing the post I would have spent a lot of time trying to decide which one!

Pharm Boy:

RE: Freddie Hubbard…Well he is IMHO a bit more than adequate - definitely no match in greatness to louis Armstrong, but its just a matter of taste…I like the guy

RE: Pat Metheny… If you listen to his 1991 album Question and Answer, you will think differently about whether he is a jazz musician or not.
Thanks for all these posts guys, I was about to lose hope:)))

The one guy no one mentioned was Wynton for trumpet. Why?

Well, I didn’t because, altho he’s a great player, technique-wise, I think he’s a little mechanical.

What do you think?

Re: Freddie Hubbard, he can play, no question, I guess I wouldn’t put him at the top, that’s all.

Re: Metheny, well you’re right, he can play jazz when he wants to, it just seems to me that he doesn’t want to very often…

Wynton’s musical ideas dont seem to be attractive to me.
All right the guy can play trumpet as well as any name we can come up with, but so what…

Al DiMeola can play 17 notes a second, but he is not among the all time greats of anything for good reason.

Pat Metheny was put in the band not because I think he is the greatest jazz guitar player of all time, just that with his inconspicuous style he would fit well in that kind of an all star big band.

I’ll put Wynton in MY band…either as the Public Relations man or the head of the Marketing Office.

If he tries to get up and play the trumpet along with Bix and Red and Bunny and Roy and Don, though, I’ll plink his little round head so hard it’ll fall off his shoulders.

Please, Wynton IS one of the all-time great trumpet players.

Why not Django Reinhardt on guitar?

Duke Ellington? Thelonious Monk? I am not sure that in terms of technical skill they compare with say Art Tatum, but they are clearly two of the greatest jazz minds and composers ever.

I will say no to both Duke and Monk…

Duke is the premier name in the concept of jazz big bands, and whatever the line up, if he is there it will be a Duke Ellington Band!!

That is of course a great great thing, but steals away from the originality of the idea of a bunch of barely compatible great musicians trying to play together in a big band!!

As for Monk, I didn’t put my #1 favorite jazz musician in there: Ornette Coleman…

There are some names that I just can’t fit within the Big Band concept.
Monk is one of them…
Which just means he wont be in MY big band:)

Anyone else is more than welcome to use him, I sure would be delighted to hear him play in a big band format!