Trombonist Wayne Andre played on so many studio sessions that he could literally concoct an alphabet of his credits—he has worked with jazz and pop leaders from A to Z, from Roy Ayers to Zulema. His father was a saxophonist, and Andre got started with private music lessons at the age of 15. By the early '50s he was gigging professionally with bandleader Charlie Spivak, but finished out the first half of this decade in the military. The innovative and interesting Sauter-Finegan combo grabbed him in the summer of 1955 when he came out of the service, and early the next year Andre joined up with the roaring big band of Woody Herman, a good place for trombonists who don't want anyone telling them to tone it down.
Later that year he began teaming up with Kai Winding, a trombonist who was known for gathering together multiple numbers of performers on the long brass instrument sometimes known as a "pitch approximator." Andre was involved with Winding's windy projects through the spring of 1958, also extending his musical possibilities through studies at the Manhatten School of Music. After leaving Winding, the trombonist mostly worked as a freelancer around New York City, spending much time in recording studios on pop and funk sessions as well as jazz. In the '60s and '70s he worked frequently with swing king Benny Goodman. Andre's smooth tone, precise articulation and clean sound betray his allegiance to stylish trombonists such as Urbie Green and Carl Fontana. Recording sessions with Winding and the fine trumpeter Art Farmer capture some of Andre's best playing; many of his session appearances feature simply section playing with very little room for solo spots, but the quality of his playing kept in high regard among other players and in demand on jazz and pop sessions. He died on August 26, 2003 at the age of 71.
- by Eugene Chadbourne
All Music Group