Melba Liston(4)

June 16.2017

Photo above of Buck Clayton band with Melba Liston by courtesy of UMKC WordPress

Melba Liston had a particularly difficult time when she went on a Southern tour with Billie Holiday.

Southern racism was rife and the crowds were sparse.

After returning her home,she put her trombone down.

She took a desk job at the Los Angeles School Board and won some small movie roles.

She said of this experience:

“I had a long thing with Lana Turner and walked around behind her playing a harp in The Prodigal (1955) and was a member of the palace orchestra in The Ten Commandments. “

In 1956 Melba Liston returned to playing her trombone in Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra commissioned by the U.S. State Department as a musical ambassador of the U.S. in South America.

She wrote and arranged many of her most memorable tunes during her work with Dizzy’s ambassador orchestra including “Stella By Starlight,” “My Reverie,” and “The Gypsy.”

Photo above of Dizzy in South America: Official U.S. State Department Tour, 1956 by courtesy of AvaxHome

In 1958, Melba Liston recorded her only album as a leader, “Melba Liston and Her ‘Bones” – a true gem in jazz history.

At the end of the 1950s, Liston joined up with Quincy Jones’ big band as it headed over to Europe.

Liston played trombone, soloed, and contributed both charts and original compositions to Jones’ orchestra.

Also she arranged and conducted the bassist Charles Mingus 1962 Town Hall Concert.

Melba Listonが同行したBillie Holidayの南部への興行は困難を極めた。
南部では根強い人種差別主義が蔓延していて観衆の入りも少なかった。
巡業が終わり自宅に帰ったMelbaはトロンボーン演奏を辞めてしまいました。
ロサンゼルス教育委員会での仕事に従事しハリウッド映画の端役にも出演していました。
彼女はこの経験について回想します。

「The Prodigal(1955制作)ではLana Turnerの後ろで歩き廻りながらハープを演奏したり、「十戒」では宮殿でのオーケストラのメンバーの一人として演奏していました。」

1956年、米国務省初の親善大使としてDizzy Gillespieが率いたオーケストラに加入しトロンボーンを演奏しました。
この時「Stella By Starlight」「My Reverie」「The Gypsy」など記憶に残る編曲をDizzy Gillespieオーケストラに提供しました。
1958年、彼女の唯一のリーダーアルバムになった「Melba Liston and Her ‘Bones」をレコーディングしています。
1950年代末、Quincy Jonesバンドに参加しヨーロッパ各地で演奏しました。
もちろんオーケストラ編曲とオリジナル作品も提供していました。
又、彼女の貴重なソロ演奏も映像に残っています。
1962年、Charles Mingus Town Hall Concertでは編曲を提供しオーケストラの指揮者としても参加しています。

Here is Melba Liston and Her Bones play “Zagred This”.
Melba Liston, Frank Rehak(tb),Marty Flax(bs),
Walter Davis Jr(p),Nelson Boyd(b), Charlie Persip(ds)
June 1956

Here is Quincy Jones band with Melba Liston play “My Reverie”.

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