Salim Washington writes, "[Charles] Mingus claimed to be able to communicate [through his bass playing] actual sentences that were intelligible" (in O'Meally et al., Uptown conversation, 2004, p. 48).
This made me vaguely remember reading somewhere about an early jazz trombonist who got fired from a band for communicating the word "m-----f-----" through his instrument on stage. Could anyone provide the source of this story?
THAT'S a new one on me, for sure. But I can imagine it. Cracks me up merely to think of it! The only early trombonist on record who was articulate enough with a mute (there HAD to be a mute involved!), to do what you said is the legendary "Slim" Martin, with Abe Lyman's Orchestra. Trouble is, "Slim" never got fired. But there were thousands of unsung trombone heroes in the '20s...