Fuller, Curtis, American trombonist; b. Detroit, Mich., Dec. 15, 1934. Along with J.J. Johnson, he presents the quintessence of modern trombone playing, with a technical command and fluid sound that set him apart from the swing players that came before him. Picking up the horn at the age of 16, he had the choice opportunity to be part of a fertile Detroit jazz scene that found Donald Byrd, Louis Hayes, Kenny Burrell, Pepper Adams, Tommy Flanagan, and many others, among his peers. His first important gig was with Yusef Lateef ’s group, which brought him to N.Y. in the Spring of 1957. Very soon, he became a hot commodity on the scene. Within an eight-month span he recorded six albums as a leader (two on Prestige, the rest on Blue Note) and appeared as sideman on 15 others. Following a brief stay with the Jazztet (which also featured Art Farmer and Benny Golson), he would work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1961–65. Since the 1970s, he has toured with the Count Basie Band, the Timeless All-Stars, Benny Golson, and numerous groups of his own. Indeed, he remains one of the music’s most valuable and legendary practitioners of the jazz Trombone.
Curtis Fuller with Red Garland (1957); New Trombone (1957); Sliding Easy (1959); Blues-Ette (1959); The Curtis Fuller Jazztet with Benny Golson (1959); Imagination (1960); Images of Curtis Fuller (1960); Four on the Outside (1978); Blues-Ette, Part 2 (1993); The Complete Blue Note/United Artists Curtis Fuller Sessions (1996).