Today's Memory

Melba Liston

Melba Liston

Melba Liston

January 13, 1926, Kansas City – April 23, 1999, Los Angeles

Melba Doretta Liston was an American jazz trombonist, musical arranger, and composer. She was the first woman trombonist to play in big bands during the 1940s – 1960s.

She began to work with the emerging major names of the bebop scene in the mid-1940s. She recorded with saxophonist Dexter Gordon in 1947, and joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band in New York, toured with Count Basie for a time, and then with Billie Holiday (1949)…

Her collaborations with pianist/composer Randy Weston, beginning in the early 1960s, are widely acknowledged as jazz classics.

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