Based in Boston, Aaron Hartley is a freelance trombonist whose playing is defined by Third Stream methodology. Hartley regularly appears with noir pianist Ran Blake, performing diverse repertoire including Greek compositions by Mikis Theodorakis, the gospels songs of Mahalia Jackson, the film music of Bernard Hermann, and the jazz masterpieces of the late George Russell. Hartley appears on Blake's most recent album, Autumn in New York, which is a tribute to George Russell on HatHut Records.

Hartley’s transcriptions of Abbey Lincoln’s Straight Ahead will be published in Ran Blake's forthcoming book Primacy of the Ear. In addition, many of Hartley’s research essays and transcriptions are available through his website, notably a complete collection of solo appearances by Ellingtonian trombonist Buster Cooper, who Hartley primarily studied with as a child.

Hartley’s fall 2010 NEC coached ensemble, The Storyboard Noir Ensemble, will play a primary role in Blake's annual Jordan Hall film noir student production November 10. Past films showcased in this series have included Spiral Staircase, Cat People, Curse of the Cat People, Bringing up Baby, Bunny Lake is Missing, I Walked With a Zombie, and The Pawnbroker. Jon Garelick, of The Boston Phoenix, has described precious NEC film showcases in this series as “indelible” and “[a] one-of-a-kind experience.”

Hartley's musical collaborations over the past several years have included performing "storyboards" in small group settings with NEC alums including Dave “Knife” Fabris, Sara Serpa, Joel Yennior, Dov Manski, Eleni Odoni, Jerry Sabatini, Emily Wolf, Ken Schaphorst, Pandelis Karageorgis, and Hankus Netsky. Hartley has also performed with Buster Cooper, Marcus Hampton, George Garzone, Andre Hayward, John Lamb, and Sam Rivers, in addition to freelancing with local big bands such as George Russell’s Living Time Orchestra, The Either/Orchestra, The Beantown Swing Orchestra, Nick Urie’s Large Ensemble, and Ayn Inserto’s Big Band.

B.M. and M.M., New England Conservatory.

Photo by Andrew Harlbut