Grachan Moncur’s career began with the Ray Charles Orchestra in 1959. He was recruited several years later for the Art Farmer Benny Golson Jazztet. During this period, he was encouraged by Art Farmer to develop his composing skills and amazingly made his first debut as both a composer and trombonist, which placed him on the jazz mainstream map. After the group disbanded, he settled in New York and was encouraged by such notables as Herbie Hancock, Jackie McLean, Bobby Hutcherson, and Tony Williams. His writing and playing experience expanded to other great artists, such as Archie Shepp and many other artists of the avant garde. He is listed in Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz of the Sixties as the first trombonist identified with the avant garde in jazz.
His compositions have been recorded by the likes of Cassandra Wilson, Kevin Mahogany and also used in films and on-stage, including on Broadway in the Actor's Studio production of James Baldwin's "Blues for Mr. Charlie" for four months in 1964.
His recordings with the great Jackie McLean on Blue Note Records now Capital Manhatten EMI are considered his most classic. These recordings have now been reissued by Mosaic Records.
Grachan is also a music educator, having taught Jazz Improvisation for ten years at the Newark Community School of the Arts, one of the world’s largest community schools.
Amongst Grachan’s many career achievements, he was awarded: Downbeat Jazz Poll: No. 1 Trombonist; and recipient of the prestigious Mason Gross Award in 1980, given out by the New Jersey State Council for the Arts.
1956 Manhattan School of Music
1958 Juilliard School of Music
TB703 | Tenor Trombone, Lacquer