A Kinescope find from the Internet Archive. The “Art Ford Jazz Party” aired on the DuMont Television Network. Included in the frontline is trombonist Tyree Glen and saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. The rest of the very strong line-up: Teddy Charles (vibes), Hank Damico (clarinet), Mary Osborne (guitar), Johnny Windhurst (trumpet), Morey Feld (drums), Todd Colberg (bass), and Alec Templeton (piano). Pianist Roland Hanna (Later Sir Roland Hanna) and singer Maxine Sullivan also make appearances later in the program.
It looks as though my last entry here at Commander Trombone has grown old and crufty. Still, for the new year I’d like to add some potentially valuable information for those traveling with a trombone. (By the way, happy new year.)
The basic issue of the trombone case may be easily solved. After all, most trombones ship with a case. However, these standard-issue cases vary in size, weight, and the amount of protection they provide. For plane travel, bigger trombone cases, including bass trombone cases, may be a problem as a carry-on. On the other hand, a relatively thin tenor trombone case can likely be taken on as a carry-on despite the fact that it will easily exceed most airlines official limitations of about 45 linear inches.
If you’re in the market for a trombone case (find some money somewhere and stimulate the economy, bub), below is a list of trombone case manufacturers. Most of these cases will likely need extra external protection if checked under a plane, with the possible exception of this one. As noted elsewhere, some musicians have further protected trombone cases by putting them inside a golf-club case or bag.
Here are some good online guides to check out:
- Steve’s Helpful Tips For Boarding a Plane With Your Instrument (Horn Guys website)
- How should I travel by plane with a trombone? Doug Yeo’s FAQ, Question No. 22.
Recently I embarked on a trip and a surprisingly annoying project: transporting a trombone across state lines with the help of commercial aviation.
To check or not to check? That was the question. Would the overhead compartments really fit my trombone despite the fact that the case was larger than the officially stated limit of “45 linear inches”? If I checked the trombone, would the baggage monkeys mangle it beyond recognition, delivering me a pile of mangled brass later?
As a hedge against the airline insisting I do it anyway, I finally decided to check the trombone. A specially constructed box was used for further protection of the Pro Tec trombone case. This “special construction” consisted of three taped together boxes, but the key feature of the enclosure was the yellow tape that bore the Italian phrase “Fra-gile” written in Sharpie marker.
What happened, you might ask? The box performed well on the trip, but a funny thing happened in the Boston airport on the way back. A friendly airline employee was inspecting the trombone box while I looked on. He paused. Was he trying to decipher the Italian? He said, “You know, you probably could have just brought this on the plane as a carry-on.”
More crap from the Minnesota Republicans. To paraphrase a Mitch Hedberg joke, getting this stuff in the mail is like someone saying to you, “Here—throw this away.”