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A natural musician able to play many instruments in numerous styles, James Morrison has made a strong impression every time he has played in the United States. Born into a musical family, Morrison began on the cornet when he was seven and was soon also playing trombone, tuba, and euphonium. Within a few years, he was also playing alto sax and leading a Dixieland band. He worked steadily as a teenager and at the age of 18 joined Don Burrows' quintet, touring Australia and the Far East. In 1987, he visited the U.S. as a member of Red Rodney's group and was soon a popular fixture on the European jazz festival circuit. Two years later, a pair of his albums (Postcards From Down Under and Swiss Encounter) were released on Atlantic at the same time in the U.S., and he toured with Gene Harris' Philip Morris Superband as a trombonist. To show off his versatility, on his 1991 album Snappy Doo (which also includes a rhythm section), Morrison overdubbed himself on four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, and piano. In addition to playing music (he has the ability to trade fours with himself on trumpet and trombone), James Morrison does stunt flying, climbs mountains, and drives a racing car. ~ Scott Yanow