The trombone-centric funk-rock band sends its love to a modern trombone explorer in ill health.

bonerama and roswell rudd backstage photo by dino perrucci
Roswell Rudd & Bonerama backstage in NYC, 2008. Photo courtesy of Dino Perrucci

Trombone player Roswell Rudd made his name playing free jazz and cutting edge music in the 1960s and '70s with Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and Carla Bley among others. Although their music is very different, Rudd developed a relationship with the members of Bonerama as both explored the range of possibilities offered by the trombone.In 2009, Bonerama backed Rudd for part of his Trombone Tribe album.

When I interviewed Rudd in 2010, he said that Bonerama's Mark Mullins was "the first trombonist I’ve been around who’s making amplification and distortion an integral part of his playing. I didn’t feel it was an attempt on his part to be a so-called pop musician. I felt he was doing something organic." He spoke admiringly of Greg Hicks, saying he had "a sound and articulation that I’ve hardly ever heard before," and of Craig Klein, saying, "Klein plays like the guy next door, only with tremendous intensity and great feeling.”

Rudd is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, and last week Bonerama posted a song in his honor on Bandcamp, "Love Song for Roz; Soul & Revival." It's available as a free download now. 

“There’s something about hearing him playing in person,” says Mullins. “Just a beautiful horn sound. It’s not such a loud thing, necessarily; it’s just a big sound. Harry [Connick Jr.] used to always talk about big sounds, and I used to be like, ‘What are you talking about?’”

Love Song For Roz; Soul and Revival from C Jenkins on Vimeo.