Julian Priester was a versatile and highly advanced trombonist capable of playing hard bop, post-bop, R&B, fusion, or full-on avant-garde jazz; however, he remains under-appreciated due to the paucity of sessions he recorded under his own name.
Priester was born in Chicago on June 29, 1935, and started out on the city's thriving blues and R&B scene, playing with artists like Muddy Waters, Dinah Washington, and Bo Diddley; he also worked with Sun Ra's early progressive big band outfits during the mid-'50s. In 1958, Priester moved to New York and joined Max Roach's band, appearing on classics like Freedom Now Suite. In 1960, Priester also recorded two hard bop sessions as a leader, Keep Swingin' and Spiritsville.
After leaving Roach in 1961, Priester appeared often as a sideman on Blue Note dates, recording with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Art...