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    Loper, Charles

    Self-taught trombonist from Atlanta, Texas, who began playing at the age of fourteen.  When a senior in high school, he was the first trombone with the Texas All-State Band.  He went on to attend Memphis State University.  During his last summer at MSU, he landed a gig touring with Buddy Morrow’s orchestra.  He then went back to school and earned his degree. 


    After graduating from MSU, he toured with the McKinley-Miller Orchestra.  Uncle Sam called and Charles answered, serving in the U.S. Army for a couple of years, where he honed his arranging skills.  He then went on tour with The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.  Weary of the road, he settled down in Las Vegas, Nevada, for almost seven years. 


    In January 1967, he moved to L.A. and began a recording career that would surely be the envy of any brass musician, purportedly appearing on over 600 movie soundtracks. 


    A pair of his early recordings were Clare Fischer’s Waltz and Letta Mbulu’s Free Soul, released and recorded in 1969, respectively.  In 1972, he appeared on Rhymes and Reasons with Carole King and Comin’ Thru with Quicksilver Messenger Service.  A year later, he reunited with Carole King on Fantasy and was an erstwhile member of Supersax on Supersax Plays Bird, which Billboard magazine deemed the #9 jazz album of 1974. 


    He spent much of the next two years with the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, recording Kogun, Long Yellow Road, and Tales of a Courtesan.  In 1975, he was in the studio with Lalo Schifrin, laying down tracks that would eventually appear on Most Wanted:  1968-1979.  He celebrated the Spirit of ’76 with Earth, Wind & Fire.  In 1977, he mourned the Death of a Ladies’ Man with Leonard Cohen, accompanied Deniece Williams on her Song Bird LP, and performed on the soundtrack of the TV mini-series, Washington:  Behind Closed Doors.  He was then recruited by Bobby Knight to be a part of his Great American Trombone Company, which released an album in 1978. 


    During the mid-to-late ‘70s, Charles was also a member of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra.  Many of these artists appeared on Frank Sinatra’s 1979 boxed set, Trilogy. 


    In 1980, he appeared on Teena Marie’s Lady T and Michael Wycoff’s Welcome to My World.  He rejoined EWF on Raise! and collaborated with Jaco Pastorius on Word of Mouth and Lee Ritenour on Rit, all of which hit the shelves in 1981.  In 1982, he was back in the studio with Jaco Pastorius, recording Los Angeles 82, appeared on Lee Ritenour’s Rit 2, and accompanied Randy Crawford on Windsong.  Then, he made Friends with Larry Carlton, Powerlight with EWF, Jarreau with Al Jarreau, and Robbery with Teena Marie, all released in 1983.  In 1984, he followed up Robbery with High Crime by Al Jarreau, 1100 Bel Air Place by Julio Iglesias, Camouflage by Rod Stewart, and was part of the brass section on “Silly Love Songs” on the soundtrack the Paul McCartney film, Give My Regards to Broad Street.  He then joined The Manhattan Transfer for their 1985 release, Vocalese. 


    In 1986, he appeared on Patti LaBelle’s Winner in You and Sandi Patty’s album, A Morning Like This.  He then performed on T-Square’s ambivalently titled Yes, No, in 1988.  In 1990, he celebrated the Yuletide with Yasuko Agawa on Come in Christmas and was in the brass section on flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal’s Gershwin tribute, FascinatinRampal. 


    He was one of many artists involved on 1992’s Christmas offering, Handel’s Messiah:  A Soulful Celebration.  In 1993, he was part of another stocking stuffer, When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick, Jr., Dream Come True by trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and The Donna Summer Anthology.  As these albums were hitting the shelves, Charles was back in the studio with Frank Sinatra, recording Duets.  Duets was released in 1994, along with The Orchestral Album of Dave Grusin and the Quincy Jones CD, Q’s Jook Joint, both of which bear Charles’ name. 


    In 1995, he appeared on the compilation, The Best of David Benoit 1987-1995.  He made the cut on another greatest-hits package, The Best of Deniece Williams:  Gonna Take a Miracle, and performed on Eros Ramazzotti’s Donde Hay Musica, which were both released in 1996.  In 1997, he accompanied Andy Griffith on his gospel album, Just as I Am:  30 Favorite Old Time Hymns.  He followed this up with Manilow Sings Sinatra and Afro Blue Vol. 2:  The Roots and Rhythms of Jazz, both unveiled in 1998.  In 1999, he reunited with Harry Connick, Jr. on Come by Me and helped set A New Standard with Steve Tyrell. 


    He appeared on at least three CDs in 2000:  Ray Anthony’s Dream Dancing III:  In the Romantic Mood; Michael Davis’s Brass Nation; and, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. II.  Around the same time, he appeared on The Quincy Jones-Sammy Nestico Orchestra CD, Basie & Beyond.  In 2002, he performed on Michel Colombier’s Old Fool Back on Earth, Kenny Rankin’s A Song for You, and the soundtrack of the George Clooney SF film, Solaris.  No less busy was 2003, with appearances on Bob Florence’s Whatever Bubbles Up, Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook, Arturo Sandoval’s Trumpet Evolution, and the soundtrack of The Last Samurai.  In 2004, he did more movie work, performing on the soundtracks of The Bourne Supremacy and National Treasure.  More soundtrack work followed in 2005 in the form of The Family Guy Live in Vegas and In Good Company:  In the same year, Charles was also in good company with Shakira, appearing on her album, Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1. 


    In 2006, Charles appeared on Danny Elfman’s Serenada Schizophrana, Melissa Manchester’s If My Heart Had Wings, The Greatest Songs of the Fifties by Barry Manilow, That Face! by Frank Sinatra, Jr., and the soundtrack of Lost.  He followed this up in 2007 with another spate of albums and soundtracks:  Paul Anka’s Classic Songs My Way; Wayne Bergeron’s Plays Well With Others; Michael Buble’s Call Me Irresponsible; The Greatest Songs of the Seventies by Barry Manilow; and, the soundtrack albums, Beowulf, Hairspray, Music from and Inspired by Bridge to Terabithia, Pirates of the Caribbean:  Soundtrack Treasures Collection, and The Simpsons Movie. 


    In 2008, he was credited with bass trombone and contrabass trombone on The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band compilation, Mosaic Select, and played on Natalie Cole’s Still Unforgettable, The Sinatra Project of Michael Feinstein, and the soundtracks of Leatherheads and Miracle at St. Anna.  Other soundtracks on which he has performed include Bolt, Men in Black, Planet of the Apes, The Red Dragon, Sex and the City, and Spider-Man 2. 



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