Carl Fontana’s Solo on “Showcase”

One of the most influential trombonists in jazz was Carl Fontana.  While not as well known as some of his peers, Fontana’s easy swing feel, tuneful lines, and flawless technique has inspired and influenced most jazz trombonists since the 1950s.

Fontana spent most of his career since 1958 playing shows in Las Vegas and not being much of a self-promotor, we don’t have many recordings around.  One of my favorites of Fontana as a leader is his 1985 album, The Great Fontana.  Fontana’s stop-time chorus on the tune It Might As Well Be Spring is alone worth getting this album.

I transcribed a couple of solos from this album back when I was an undergrad, including Fontana’s solo on the blues tune, Showcase.  Since this was almost 20 years ago, I won’t make any guarantees about accuracy, but skimming though it looks like I got pretty close.  Click here to get the whole solo.

I’d recommend that if you’re a jazz musician interested in this solo you should transcribe it yourself and then let me know where I got it wrong.

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