On the Throne with a Trombone


This innovative excelling trombonist, J.C. who was associated with many other jazz masters was born Jay C. to the Higginbotham's in Social Circle, Georgia May 11, 1906. Just barely coming out of his teens he got a chance with the J. Neal Montgomery as a trombonist, but then had to odd job until his initial try at bandleading in the mid 1920's.

Playing Musical Catch with Satch

He finally had work subsequentially with Wingie Carpenter, Chick Webb and Willie Lynch's bands. Later in that decade he hooked up as one of Luis Russell's Orchestra's best stars, recording his best work here. Not only did he record with Louis Armstrong with Russell's group, but he had the famous trumpeter join his J.C Higginbotham and His Six Hicks on wax. Before rejoining Luis Russel in 1937 he did special appearances for Chick Web again -- as well as Fletcher Henderson and Benny Carter.

War Years

His work until 1940 with Luis Russell included him soloing on recordings with their star, Satchemo. When fellow band member and friend Red Allen left for his new 'Jump Band' he went on a 'swing' with him for the next seven years with the last year of his partnership having a highlight Carnegie Hall Poll Winners Concert in March 1947, and joining Dinah Washington, Hot Lips Page and Jack Teagarden on NBC's radio Cavalcade of Jazz. His greatness was diminishing sadly from bouts with the bottle, but played in other bands, with others, like Sidney Bechet and Coleman Hawkins, or had his own smaller groups in the end of the decade and into the next.

New York, New York

He spent time recording and performed clubbing in Boston, Cleveland, and the 'Big Apple'. In 1954 he joined Red Allen's residency at the Metropole in New York until 1963. He became part of the Fletcher Henderson reunion band for the Great South Bay Jazz Festival in 1957. The sixties he stayed busy, playing duets with Joe Thomas and he recorded for Sonet in 1962 and again in 1966. His career took a rapid decline as the sixties wound down and so did his health and fifteen days after his birthday in 1973 he passed on.