The Bone Supremacy

The Bone Supremacy was borne out of an idea after much discussion at the bar one night after a Back To Basie concert back in 2007. The regular four Trombonists in The Bone Supremacy are all regular members of that fantastic poll-winning big band. Ian started the discussion when he brought up the idea of re-creating Five-A-Slide, a trombone band that was very prominent at jazz clubs and festivals in the 1970s and 1980s. That band featured the top jazz trombonists of the time Roy Williams, Campbell Burnap, Pete Strange, Roy Crimmins Jim Shepherd, and latterly Ray Wordsworth amongst others.

Every player in the Bone Supremacy is a very talented jazz musician in their own right and by that token they are invariable busy, so the band usually has to take its bookings with plenty of notice in order to get the A-Team on stage.

The 5th trombone is a policy decision made right from the start. Ian Bateman and Adrian Fry are the co-leaders of the band with Adrian looking after playing matters and Ian looking after bookings and admin. Andy Flaxman is the first choice lead trombone and Chris Gower if their first choice Bass trombone, although he is equally at home playing lead. They decided as a policy to leave the 5th trombone as a ‘floating chair’. They therefore invite guest trombonists to play with them.

A band with five trombonists needs to be diverse, especially as it must hold the audience’s attention for a couple of hours. They therefore have made a concious effort to play a variety of styles, from the traditional Muskrat Ramble to Michael Brecker’s Delta City Blues (it’s awesome on Tenor Sax – wait until you see and hear five trombones playing it!). Another strong feature of this band is the a cappella style of playing – in other words without accompaniment. Have a listen to ‘Not Like This’ (it’s on the mp3 player on the Repertoire page on the band’s web site) and you’ll know what we mean. You’ll not only hear some stunning playing, but they will also entertain you. You can have a lot of fun with a trombone! If you put five of them together you have a mixture that is sure to put a smile on your face!!!

The Bone Supremacy is entirely self sufficient as they are able to supply their own music stands, stage props and PA System where required and they always insist on looking smart and presentable!