Frankie Trumbauer (Tram) (Carbondale (Illinois), 30 may 1901 - Kansas City (Missouri), 11 June 1956) was an American jazzsaxophone player and as such one of the main players of this instrument in the 20s and 30s. He was one of the best-known performers of the now rare C-melody saxophone, an instrument between the alt and the tenor saxophone. He also played the Alto Saxophone. Tram was one of the great jazz band leaders in that period. He is also known for his collaborations with Bix Beiderbecke, the jazzcornettist that his career has always been somewhat overshadowed.
Trumbauer began in different danceorchestras in the Midwest. Then he led his own band in St. Louis, where Bix appeared. Then he came with Bix at the renowned Jean Goldkette Orchestra, where he also was musical director . When Goldkette in 1927 are top musicians could no longer pay, he moved with some others, including Bix Beiderbecke to the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, jazz orchestra at the time to be the highest paid. In the middle of the 1930s, he played with Charlie and Jack Teagarden and later with his own band in California.During the Second World War he was a pilot and played at many Trumbauer in the army. After the war, he played in the NBCOrchestra. After 1947 he played sporadically and in aviation.
His role as a kind of grandfather of modern jazz is for the development of the jazz probably more important than that of Bix. Its cool, delicate style has influenced many important saxophonists, including Benny Carter , Lester Youngand Art Pepper. His playing style can also be found in the Cool Jazz from the 1950s and 1960s.