James "Bubber" Miley

James " Bubber " Miley ( born April 3, 1903 in Aiken, South Carolina, † May 20, 1932 in New York City ) was an American jazz trumpeter and composer.


After serving 18 months in the Navy Miley played since 1923 in various New York jazz clubs, most recently with Elmer Snowden 's " Washingtonians ". The main cast of this band, including Bubber Miley was acquired in 1926 by Duke Ellington and formed the first Ellington Orchestra. In the years to 1929, resulting in a range of historical Ellington recordings such as East St. Louis Toodle -Oo and Black and Tan Fantasy, which were decisively shaped by Miley's solos. Miley, who was considered unreliable due to his alcohol addiction and was known frequently to sleep during the performance on the stage, left the Ellington Orchestra in 1929 and played in the next two years with the bands of King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Hoagy Carmichael, where he can also be heard on several recordings with Bix Beiderbecke. Bubber Miley died in 1932 of complications from alcohol abuse and tuberculosis.


Bubber Miley is together with trombonist Joe " Tricky Sam" Nanton, the Creator of the Growl - style, in which the trumpet valves are only partially depressed, while a plunger damper with the left hand before the bell of the instrument is moved. The sounds thus produced, with its wah- wah effect formed a key element of the tone color of the so-called Jungle Style, for which the Ellington Orchestra was known in its early years and accounted for a large part of his success. After Miley leaving the tradition of this game at Ellington Cootie Williams was continued.

According to Schuller allied himself with Miley a melodic compositional talent with his ability to produce specific tones; its importance for the classical melodies in jazz is underestimated. He probably has the more significant proportion of the jobs created with Ellington compositions East St. Louis Toodle -Oo, Black and Tan Fantasy and Creole Love Call.

Secondary literature


  • Jazz trumpeter
  • Composer (Jazz)
  • American musician
  • Born in 1903
  • Died in 1932
  • Man