Kai Chresten Winding (May 18, 1922–May 6, 1983) was a popular Danish born American trombonist and jazz composer. He is well known for a successful collaboration with fellow trombonist J. J. Johnson.Winding was born in Aarhus, Denmark. In 1934 his family immigrated to the United States. He graduated in 1940 from Stuyvesant High School in New York City. His career as a professional trombonist began in 1940 with Shorty Allen's band. Subsequently, he played with Sonny Dunham and Alvino Rey, until he entered the United States Coast Guard during World War II.
After the war, Winding joined Benny Goodman's band, and later moved on to Stan Kenton's orchestra. Winding participated in the first of the Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949, appearing on 4 of the 12 tracks (while Johnson appears on the other eight, having participated on the other two sessions). He also participated in some early bop sessions, played with Tadd Dameron (1948-1949), and was on one of the Miles Davis' nonet's famous recording sessions.
After playing with the big bands of Charlie Ventura and Benny Goodman, he formed a quintet with J.J. Johnson (1954-1956); the two trombonists (who sounded nearly identical at the time) had occasional reunions after going their separate ways. At the urging of producer Ozzie Cadena, he joined forces with Johnson to produce a highly successful series of trombone duet recordings, which were initially on Savoy Records and then on the Columbia Records label. While at Columbia, Kai experimented with different instrumentation in brass ensembles and also used a trombonium on at least one album that featured a trombone octet. Winding also arranged and/or composed many of the tracks he and Johnson recorded.
Winding led a four-trombone septet off and on through the latter half of the 1950s and into the '60s, was music director for the Playboy clubs in New York. During the 1960s, Kai had a long stint at Verve Records and under producer Creed Taylor made some of his most memorable jazz-pop albums. His best known recording from this period is "More", the theme from the movie Mondo Cane.
This hit was arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman. The recording featured, what is probably the first American recording of the French electronic music instrument, the Ondioline, which was played on "More" by Frenchman Jean Jacques Perrey. Guitarist Vinnie Bell was also on the session, and remembers distinctly that Perrey was the player of the Ondioline, although Winding publicly took credit for it.
While at Verve, Kai further experimented with various ensembles, made solo albums, and even an album of country music with the Anita Kerr Singers. In the late 1960s, Kai followed Creed Taylor to his new recording label at A&M/CTI and made at least two more albums with Johnson.During 1971-1972 Kai worked with the Giants of Jazz; an all-star group with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, and Thelonious Monk. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Kai recorded for a number of independent record labels. During this time, he continued to give clinics, play jazz concerts and even reunited with Johnson for a live concert in Japan. He also wrote instructional jazz trombone books that included transcribed solos. Winding was featured at the 1982 Kool Jazz Festival in one of his last appearances in New York
Although he recorded frequently both as a leader and a sideman throughout his career, most of Winding's sessions are not currently available on CD.
Winding died of a heart attack in St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers on May 6, 1983 after being hospitalized for the treatment of a brain tumour. He was survived at the time by his wife, accomplished painter Eschwan Winding. (Info various, mainly from Wikipedia & AMG)
Jazz Giants - Tivoli Copenhagen – 1971 Thelonius Monk, piano - Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet - Kai Winding, trombone - Sonny Stitt, sax - Al McKibbon, bass - Art Blakey, drums.