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Carl Fontana

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Also known as  The Captain
Instruments  Trombone
Origin  Monroe, Louisiana
Name  Carl Fontana
Genres  Jazz
Role  Trombonist
Occupation(s)  Performer

Carl Fontana wwwjazzmastersnlfontanafontanacarl20jpg

Born  July 18, 1928 (1928-07-18)
Died  October 10, 2003, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Education  Louisiana State University
Albums  The Great Fontana, Live at Capozzoli's, Heavyweights, The Fifties, Cool Blue Essential Jazz Masters, Nice 'n' Easy
Music group  World's Greatest Jazz Band
Similar People  Frank Rosolino, Mel Lewis, Bill Holman, Jiggs Whigham, Bobby Shew

Carl Fontana Plays The Blues

Carl Charles Fontana (July 18, 1928 - October 9, 2003) was an American jazz trombonist. After working in the big bands of Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, and Stan Kenton, he devoted most of his career to playing music in Las Vegas.


Carl Fontana Carl Fontana Biography Albums amp Streaming Radio AllMusic

Carl fontana beautiful friendship trombone solo transcription

Early career

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His first break into the professional jazz scene came in 1951 when he was hired to stand in for one of Woody Herman's regular trombonists, Urbie Green. When Green returned, Herman kept Fontana on as a permanent member of the band.

Carl Fontana Carl Fontana Emily 1971 YouTube

After three years with Herman, Fontana joined Lionel Hampton's big band in 1954. In early 1955 he played briefly with Hal McIntyre and Chicago pianist and Playboy executive, Sam Distefano at Sam's Miami nightclub, The Stut 'n' Tut. He later joined Stan Kenton's big band. Fontana recorded three albums with Kenton and worked with trombonist Kai Winding during this period.

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After 1958, Fontana would tour rarely, such as a 1966 tour of Africa with Herman's band sponsored by the U.S. State Department. He primarily performed with house orchestras in Las Vegas during the 1960s, particularly Paul Anka's band (with Frank Rosolino). He also performed in bands backing Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Wayne Newton, and the Benny Goodman orchestra.

Later career

Carl Fontana Biography Carl Fontana

In the 1970s, he continued performing in house orchestras and lounges in Las Vegas. He also recorded with Louie Bellson, Bill Watrous, and Supersax. It was not until 1975 that Fontana recorded an album as an ensemble co-leader. He shared the billing for this record, The Hanna-Fontana Band: Live at Concord (Concord Jazz) with drummer Jake Hanna. Fontana toured in Japan with this ensemble. In 1978 he was featured on the jazz trombone recording Bobby Knight's Great American Trombone Company, with Charles Loper, Lew McCreary, Frank Rosolino, Phil Teele, and Bobby Knight.

Carl Fontana Biography Carl Fontana

In the 1980s, he appeared regularly on National Public Radio's Monday Night Jazz program. His first album as a headliner was The Great Fontana (Uptown Jazz, 1985).


In 2001 he joined The West Coast All Stars and played a concert in Stuttgart, Germany. He was joined by Conte Candoli, Teddy Edwards, Pete Jolly, Chuck Berghofer, and Joe LaBarbera. He was featured on the song "If I Only Had a Brain", from the movie The Wizard of Oz.

Carl Fontana Carl Fontana Biography Albums Streaming Links AllMusic

Fontana died October 9, 2003, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at age of 75 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease.


  • The Great Fontana (Uptown, 1985)
  • Live at Capozzoli's (Woofy, 1998)
  • Nice 'n' Easy (Cambria/TNC Jazz, 1999)
  • First Time Together (Budapest Music Center, 2002)
  • Keepin' Up With the Boneses (TNC Jazz, 2002)
  • Conte Candoli Quintet Tet (Woofy, 2003)
  • With Woody Herman

  • Early Autumn (1952)
  • Concerto for Herd (1967)
  • Scene & Herd in 1952
  • Cool One (1998)
  • Woody Herman's Finest Hour (2001)
  • Presenting Woody Herman & The Band (2001)
  • With Louis Bellson

  • Thunderbird (Impulse!, 1965)
  • With Stan Kenton

  • Contemporary Concepts (Capitol, 1955)
  • Kenton in Hi-Fi (Capitol, 1956)
  • Cuban Fire! (Capitol, 1956)
  • Plays Holman Live! (1996)
  • Jazz Profile (1997)
  • Birdland Broadcasts (1998)
  • Intermission Riff 1952–1956
  • Concepts Era Live!
  • At the Ernst-Merck-Halle, Hamburg (2003)
  • With Kai Winding

  • Jay and Kai (Columbia, 1956)
  • The Trombone Sound (Columbia, 1956)
  • Trombone Panorama (Columbia, 1957)
  • More Brass (Verve, 1966)
  • Dirty Dog (Verve, 1966)
  • With Frank Rosolino

  • Frank Rosolino: Trombone Heaven, Vancouver 1978 (Uptown Records, 2007)
  • References

    Carl Fontana Wikipedia

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