•  a climax of musical excitement, characterized by feelings of pleasure centered in the ears and experienced as an accompaniment to hearing a group of trombone players.

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Jennifer Wharton might be considered by many as a unicorn in the world of music. In decades from the not-too-distant past, it was a rarity to even have a woman in prominent jazz bands and orchestras, but to have a bass trombone-slinging woman as leader was thought extraordinary. In 2019, Wharton presented her trombone-powered ensemble, Bonegasm, via its self-titled debut album.

Wharton enlisted fellow trombonists John Fedchock, Nate Mayland, and Alan Ferber, along with the rhythm section of pianist Michael Eckroth, bassist EvanG regor, and drummer Don Peretz. The music performed included originals and arrangements the leader commissioned from prominent composers she knew as well as members of the ensemble.

The overwhelming response to Bonegasm’s music was astounding, cementing Wharton’s assertion that this assemblage was no flash in the pan but an important exponent of shaping the trombone’s primacy in jazz music. Bonegasm’s new recording, Not a Novelty, wears its intentions on its sleeve, or perhaps more appropriately, tattooed on its arm.


“Trombone ecstacy.”


“Wharton’s effervescent album captivates as it ranges between the intimate and the orchestral with plenty of whimsy.”


4 1/2 stars – “From afar, this album may seem like nothing more than a novelty project, but the music successfully argues against that thinking. Jennifer Wharton’s Bonegasm blows the doors wide open for the bass trombone. The horn itself may play from the bottom, but it can certainly operate at the top of the heap.”


“The brass shines...”


“This album will knock you right out.”

Marc Myers,

4 stars – “Stirring, fresh, and emphatic, Grit & Grace makes a statement worth hearing.”


“Uniformly stellar.”


“Multiple flavors and clever arrangements.”


“...the enjoyment is contagious throughout Bonegasm's consistently musical second chapter.”


Album of the day  – “in the same way that sunlight can express a heady presence, all that lightness to the trombonist’s debut possesses a certain gravity, like a serious expression of idle fun.”

Bird is the Worm

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