Jazz trombonist Jimmy Cleveland: A bio-discography and analysis of his solo style

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Studio and Jazz

First Committee Member

Whitney Sidener, Committee Chair


This essay contributes to the small body of jazz trombone literature by examining the life, recordings, and solo style of Jimmy Cleveland, an underrated jazz trombonist and prolific recording artist. The study concentrates on the years 1926--1959, from his birth through the release of his last major album as a leader. Chapter one introduces the essay and provides a rationale. Chapter two reviews the related literature. Chapter three explains the methodology used to compile the following chapters and the appendix. Chapter four is a bio-discography, a chronological list of Cleveland's recording sessions, including dates, personnel, locations, song titles, and label releases, interspersed with biographical details and other points of interest. Chapter five is an analysis of Cleveland's improvised solo style, concentrating on the areas of technique, melody, rhythm, harmonic approach, and influence. Chapter six offers conclusions and recommendations for further research. Appendix one contains twenty transcriptions of Cleveland's solos. Appendix two is an audio interview with Jimmy and Janet Cleveland on two compact discs.


Biography; Music

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