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Jimmy Maxwell, lead trumpet with top bandsCopyright © 2002
Jimmy Maxwell (James Kendrick Maxwell) was one of the great lead trumpet players in big band jazz. He played in a local band led by the pianist and arranger Gil Evans while still in high school, and went on to perform with many of the best known band leaders in jazz.
They included Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, and briefly Duke Ellington. He was regarded as a key specialist in the demanding role of lead trumpet, where he was responsible for moulding the sound of the section.
He played with the National Jazz Ensemble and the New York Jazz Repertory Company in the 1970s, and did a great deal of session work on records, television and film. He was heard in a rare role as featured trumpet soloist on the soundtrack of The Godfather in 1972.
JJA members are invited to submit a full obituary or appreciation.