[JPL] trumpeter Lou Colombo, R.I.P.

Tom Reney tr at wfcr.org
Sun Mar 4 15:09:03 EST 2012

Sad news of the death of Lou Colombo in a car crash last night in Ft. 
Myers, Florida.  Lou was a mainstay of the jazz scene between Cape Cod, 
Providence, and Boston for over 50 years, admired by everyone from Louis 
Armstrong and Bobby Hackett to Tony Bennett and Dizzy Gillespie.  I saw 
him many times with Dave McKenna, Dick Johnson, Gray Sargent, and 
others.  He played my sister Sue's wedding in 1984.  He always swung 
hard and fostered good vibes.  With the deaths in the past three years 
of McKenna at 78, Johnson at 85, and now Colombo at 84, a generation of 
regional jazz greats has left us.  It's small consolation, but Lou spent 
his last night playing music.


The Cape Cod Times obituary includes this excerpt from a 1988 interview 
of Dizzy Gillespie by Eric Jackson of WGBH in Boston.

/"Lou Colombo is what I would call a trumpet painter, he resolves. He 
starts playing and the notes keep going, but the chord keeps changing 
all the time. He's a marvelous trumpet player./

/"I went one night to hear him play. Boy, he asked me to play with him 
and I said 'No- you got it Brother. I'm not going to jump into that hot 
water'. Lou's pretty weird the way he plays because he plays with just 
one hand. He plays the valves with his right hand but doesn't hold the 
horn with his left hand. This guy's amazing. I've been preaching his 
name ever since that night I first heard him down on Cape Cod ."

Here's a link to his Concord Jazz release/I Remember Bobby/ which 
featured McKenna and Sargent.

Lou never seemed more than a few feet away in the venues where I heard 
him, but the only footage I can find of him is this clip shot from a 
distance last year on the Cape.

Tom Reney

Jazz à la Mode
Monday-Friday 8-11 p.m.

New England Public Radio
131 County Circle
Amherst, MA 01003

tr at nepr.net


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