Kai's group in the 1960s...


The Book Discography



The official printed discography of Kai Winding, written by Piet Van Engelen. This was written shortly after Kai's death, is a 2-volume set and is currently out of print.

[Book scan above courtesy of Ezshwan Winding]

Webmaster's Note: The complete print discography of Kai Winding by Piet van Engelen is presented here in this section of the website.  I would like to acknowledge and again give my thanks to Mr. Van Engelen for offering to have this site host his work and for allowing it to be retyped and presented in its entirety.


"Where's the Music"


In compiling this work I used following works of reference:

Bruyninckx, W. - Sixty Years of Recorded Jazz. 6 volumes.

Jepsen, J.G. - Jazz Records 1942-1962 11 Volumes. Karl Emil Knudsen.

Lee, W.F. - Stan Kenton Artistry in Rhythm - Creative Press of Los Angeles.

Ruppli, M. - The Prestige label. A discography. Greenwood Press.

Bielefelder Katalog Jazz. (several volumes).

Feather, Leonard - The New Editions of the Encyclopedia of Jazz.



I would like to thank everybody who helped me in research for this work. All people, listed below, contributed generously.

There are, however, a few persons who I would like to thank separately: my friend Wouter Bombeeck (Vught Nl) who kept finding new recording dates as well as Wim van Eyle (Oudkarspel Nl). Furthermore, I would ike to thank Erik Bakker (Amsterdam Nl) and Art Zimmerman (Jericho USA) for all their fine work.

Special thanks to Mieke van Lieshout for being so patient, and to Kai Winding for all information and friendship I got from him and his wife Eleanor. I would like to dedicate this work to these three people.


Thanks also to:

Eddie Bert (Mount Vernon USA), Walter De Block (Brasschaat Belgium), Coen Hoffamn (Amsterdam Netherlands), Jack McKinney (Hackensack USA), Jan Mulder (Meerssen Netherlands), Claude Lefevre (Cambrai France), Bob Porter (Bergenfield USA), Dick Sears (Abu Dhabi Arabia), Yasuo Segami (Yokohama Japan), James Seidelle (Cuyahoga Falls USA).

The author only, however, is responsible for the information in this work.

I realize that this work is not complete and that some of you might have information unknown to me. In case you have additions and/or corrections I should be very happy to receive that information from you.

--Piet van Engelen

B.J. Major, Webmaster, also acknowledges William Kenlon for his proofreading assistance with the web version of this book.


"Where's the Music"


I sit here in Kai's office in our home in Spain, surrounded by his awards, photos of him and fellow musicians, his arrangements, books, mementos and many tributes, and feel that he was a man who accomplished what he set out to do in life.

I once asked him what he would have done if he had not become a musician, and he answered that nothing else ever occurred to him.  So for 45 years of his life he lived music. He was as demanding of himself as he was of others. There just wasn't room for non professionalism in his work. He was leader, organizer, business man and a musician respected by his peers, both for his music and his word.

Even though he had been called "The Gentleman of Jazz" and "Mr. Trombone" - one reviewer thought that he looked more like a stockbroker than a jazz musician. But as soon as he started to play--there was no doubt that he was an inspired artist.

When we chose to live in Spain, one of the big reasons was to simplify our lives. Kai wanted to play only his kind of music (Bebop) and to write and perform his own compositions. And that is just what he did the last five years of his life. Kai loved color, beauty of nature and a melody. He was always young and felt that every day was 'another great adventure'.

Whenever I look at his pictures, hear his music or think of our life together, I feel his strength. I believe, as with almost all musicians. Kai's music expressed his personality: strong, proud, sometimes brash, sensitive, innovative with a good dash of humor. His sense of humor pervaded his whole life. When I would not completely appreciate his old familiar jokes and threatened to hire a writer so he could get some new material, he would say "What..and spoil my act? An old joke is like a good note. When you get a good one, you stay with it!"

Many musicians told me stories of how Kai had helped them, encouraged them and had been an example to them. I knew him as my best friend, lover and soul mate. We knew that we were very fortunate people to be able to live our lives as we wished and spend so much time together. Kai was thoughtful, romantic and generous, but his humorous nature always came into play. When I one day complained of losing my identity, he said "What do you mean?  You are Mrs. Trombone, aren't you?"

His illness came as a shock. Kai had never been sick, had never been hospitalized and was apparently in perfect health. It took only ten days after a headache started and his pain became so severe that I rushed him to a New York hospital where his brain tumor was diagnosed. He fought bravely for five months, keeping up every ones' spirit with his courage and humor. Streams of fellow musicians came to see him. There were phone calls every day from all over the world. Even strangers and old fans sent cards which I strung all over his hospital room. We were surrounded by kindness and generosity. We were supported with love from all sides. Kai was touched by all of this and said, 'I don't know what I did to deserve this. I must have done something right.' I told him that he was just getting back what he had sent out.

He died May 6, 1983. On June 23, 1983, the first day of the Kool Jazz Festival in New York, there was a tribute to Kai Winding - ' A Statement of Love to a Great Musician from the Jazz World.' I hope many people will remember his courage, talent and zest for life.

His last words to me were "Where is the music?"  I made sure he had his music to escort him on 'another great adventure'.

He was a musician until the last breath, and I had the privilege of being "Mrs. Trombone".

Eleanor Winding

Mijas Spain.


"Where's the Music"







Capitol (Cap)

Atlantic (Atl)

Bethlehem (Beth)

Creative World



Camden (Cdn)

ABC Paramount (ABC Para)

Bellaphon (German)





Dan (Japan)


Columbia (Co)








Esquire (Esq)




First Heard



Fontana (Font)




Grandi di Jazz

His Masters Voice (HMV)


Jazz Giants


London (Lnd)

Jazz Selection (F)



Jazz Vault

New Jazz

Parker Records








Realm (English)



Red Records (Italian)

Philips (Ph)



Phontastic Nostalgia (Sweden)

Melodisc (F)








Prestige (Prest)


Unique Jazz




Savoy (Sav)

MPS (Germany)







Total Sound Project






World Sound



Victor (Vic)





[Early photo of Kai courtesy of Piet van Engelen]


"Where's the Music"


Kai Chresten Winding was born in Aarhus, Denmark on May 18, 1922. His father worked for General Motors. When Kai was 5, his sister Ann was born. His sister Alice was born on his 11th birthday. The family later moved to Poland and then back again to Denmark.  Kai wasn't playing any instrument at that time, although, as his schoolteacher had said he already had a good ear for music.

In 1934 the family moved to the USA, because his father got transferred to a GM plant in New York, and there Kai spent his growing-up years.  By this time, Kai had picked up an instrument: the accordion. He played it by ear and discovered his musical feeling. When he was in high school he started playing the trombone. As he said, "One day the music teacher held up a chart with pictures of the various instruments and somehow I was fascinated by the trombone." He started playing it in the school orchestra.

He got away from his homework whenever he could, and he practiced the trombone, or listened to radio programs like 'Make Believe Ballroom'. He had two major influences in that time:   Trummy Young who played in the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra, and Jack Teagarden. Both trombonists were ahead of their time. He felt that the instrument had more possibilities and that there should also be other musical directions to go into.  He managed to extend far beyond those confines with a minimum of formal training.

He was mainly self-taught in his two most meaningful areas: trombone and composition. He studied the instrument in high school and only received periodical instruction outside. "The most outstanding teacher I recall is Don Reinhardt. He was a concert band trombonist basically, but he was more of a teacher than a performer."

His debut as a dance band trombonist was as coincidental as his picking up the instrument: "I was at Stuyvesant High School which was way down on the east side. As we lived in Washington Heights I commuted to school by subway. Most of the time I carried my trombone case with me. For some time I noticed a huge Studebaker which was parked near the school. It had a sign on it: Shorty Allen Orchestra. One day the car pulled up alongside and someone inside said that they needed a trombone player and asked me if I could read music. When I said yes I got an invitation for a rehearsal and got a place in the orchestra."  This orchestra was a good training ground because it played a lot of dances in theaters in and around New York.

On one occasion, one of Sam Donahue's sidemen heard Kai and shortly after that he was playing with that famous society orchestra.

In and around New York there were many sessions going on where a new kind of jazz was growing: BeBop. Kai would sit in with a lot of these sessions at Minton's Playhouse. Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker were there, too. This music has been with Kai ever since.

Big times were coming for Kai when he went with Sonny Dunham's Orchestra. He liked the orchestra for its Lunceford styled music. He stayed in this orchestra from December 1941 until June 1942 with Sonny Dunham.

After about a year he left that orchestra again and became a member of the Alvino Rey Orchestra. That was the first time he worked in an orchestra with a section of four trombones.

Shortly after, he joined the Coast Guard. Fortunately enough, he was placed in an orchestra that was led by trombonist Bill Schallen.  Besides doing his sea duties, there was a lot of work with that orchestra.  In 1944, they recorded two V-Discs. These V-Discs carry the first recorded arrangements and solos from Kai.

He got out of the service in the Spring of 1945. About that time, he met dancer Marie Emery. They were married at the end of the year. Almost directly after his discharge, he recorded with trumpet player Roy Stevens under the name of Manor All Stars.

In August he had a gig with his future employer Stan Kenton when the latter was in New York and in need of a trombonist.

Benny Goodman at that time went into BeBop and asked Kai to join his orchestra in October.  Coincidentally, Stan Getz and Kai joined the orchestra on the same day. There were a lot of radio broadcasts and recordings with Benny, but a major breakthrough came in December when Kai Recorded for the first time under his own name. Among the sidemen were Stan Getz, Shorty Rogers and Shelly Manne. This Savoy recording was a milestone in modern jazz.  The Benny Goodman Orchestra went on tour to the West Coast in January 1946. They had a busy schedule with a lot of radio broadcasts and one-nighters in the California surroundings. Kai felt that his future was not in the Goodman Orchestra, so about the middle of January he left the orchestra again.


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