Ruben McFall

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Reuben McFall (aka Ruben and Rubin and Ruban; born 1 Feb 1931 Los Angeles) is an American trumpeter and jazz arranger who performed as a sideman with Freddie Slack, Vido Musso, Floyd Ray, Roy Porter (from 1949 to 1950), Glen Henry, Lalo Guerrero, Stan Kenton (from 1952 to 1953), Gerry Mulligan, Woody Herman (from 1953 to 1955), Teddi King, and Gerald Wilson.


As sideman, performed with
  • Freddie Slack
  • Vido Musso
  • Floyd Ray[1] (né Floyd Edward Ray; 1909–1985)
  • Roy Porter from 1949 to 1950[2]
  • Glen Henry (né Glenn Alba Henry, Jr. 1915–1993) Band in 1950, with Joe Maini on saxophone, Jimmy Knepper on trombone, and Bill Trujillo (né William Lee Trujillo; born 1930) on saxophone
  • Lalo Guerrero — toured with his band from 1951 to 1952, with Lennie Niehaus on alto sax, Bill Trujillo on tenor, Frank Quijada (1917–1953) on drums, and Al León on piano[3][4]
  • Stan Kenton from 1952 to 1953 — McFall was a member of the band during a milestone in jazz, when Kenton's band recorded the first of 5 sessions in 9 days for Capitol in Chicago for the New Concepts of Artistry In Rhythm album.[5]
Conte Candoli, Buddy Childers, Don Dennis (né Donald Duane Dennis; 1927–1995), and Maynard Ferguson were in the trumpet section
Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca were on tenor sax
Lee Konitz, Vinnie Dean (né Vincent N. DiVittorio; 1929–2010) on alto sax
Bill Russo, Bob Fitzpatrick (né Francis Steven Fitzpatrick; 1920–1995),[6] Keith Moon (né Gordon Keith Moon; 1929–2006), George Roberts, and Frank Rosolino on trombone
Kenton directing and on piano, Derek Walton on percussion, Sal Salvador on guitar, Don Bagley on bass, Stan Levey on drums
Kay Brown singing[7]
  • Gerry Mulligan — see album compilation, Gerry Mulligan: The Quintessence/New York Los Angeles Paris 1946-1955
Recording sessions: March 21, 1946 to October 31, 1955
  1. Chicago
  2. Los Angeles
  3. New York
  4. Paris
  5. San Diego
  6. Stockton
Jazz discography, sessions, transcribed broadcasts, recorded concerts

Selected discography[edit]

As sideman

With Stan Kenton

Norma Japan – NLP 5011, Vantage Records (2) – NLP 5011
McFall on side B only
B1 thru B4 recorded July 7, 1953, live, Rendezvous Ballroom, Newport Beach, California
B1: "Sometimes I'm Happy"
B2: "Buzzy"
B3: "How High The Moon"
B4: "Short Stop"
Personnel: Herb Geller, alto sax; Bill Perkins, Jack Montrose, tenor saxes; Bill Holman, bari sax; Bob Edmondson, Bob Enevoldsen, Herbie Harper, trombones; Conrad Gozzo, Don Dennis, Maynard Ferguson, Ruben McFall, Shorty Rogers, trumpets; Lorraine Geller, piano; John Simons, acoustic bass; Chuck Flores, drums
Recorded July 11, 1953, Rendezvous Ballroom
Personnel: Herb Geller, Bill Perkins, Jack Montrose, Bill Holman, saxophones; Bob Enevoldsen, Bob Edmondson, Herbie Harper, trombones; Maynard Ferguson, Conrad Gozzo, Ruban McFall, Don Dennis, trumpets; Lorraine Geller, piano; John Simmons, bass; Chuck Flores, drums

Selected compositions and arrangements[edit]

  • "Bobby's Mambo"
  • "Mambo the Most, Part 1"
  • "Mambo the Most, Part 2"
  • "Mambo the Utmost"
  • "Mambo a la Stockholm"


McFall grew-up in the Belvedere neighborhood of East Los Angeles, California, long established as a Mexican-American enclave. In the 1940 and 1942 Los Angeles Voter Registration directory, Ruben's father, Ernest VanSant McFall (1887–1957), was listed a musician.

McFall attended Westlake College of Music in Hollywood, California, one of the first institutions in the county to offer a diploma in jazz. The school was founded in 1945 and ran until 1961.[11] In Los Angeles, during the early 1950s, his friends included trumpeter Donald Roy Fromknecht, Jr. (1928–2012).[12]


  1. ^ "Art Farmer" (interview transcript), interviewed by Steven Louis Isoardi (born 1949), Central Avenue Sounds, Oral History Program UCLA (1994); OCLC 33229049
  2. ^ There And Back: The Roy Porter Story, by Roy Porter (1923–1998) & David Keller, Bayou Press, Ltd. (1990), pps. 85, 120, 153, 178, 192; OCLC 23080163, 20422559
  3. ^ Guide to the Lalo Guerrero Collection: 1939–2005 (pdf transcript), "Series 5: Photographs," Box 5, Folder 10, "Lalo Band on the Road" (photo 6 of 14), "January 1951, Lalo at restaurant, left to right: Bill Trujillo, Lennie Niehaus, Lalo, Frank Quijada, Ruben McFall, Al Leon," University of California, Santa Barbara (retrieved March 12, 2015)
  4. ^ Lalo: My Life and Music, by Lalo Guerrero, Sherilyn Mentes, University of Arizona Press (2002); OCLC 47644231
  5. ^ Straight Ahead: The Story of Stan Kenton, by Carol Evelyn Easton (maiden; born 1933), New York: Morrow (1973), pg. 153; OCLC 721734
  6. ^ "Compilation of Fitz's Curriculum Vitae and an Obituary," by Roy Joseph Wiegand, Jr. (born 1936), Overture (magazine of the Los Angeles Musicians Local 47, AFM), April 1995 (retrieved March 11, 2015, from the website of Terry F. Vosbein, born 1957, at; ISSN 0030-7556
  7. ^ Jazz: A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings, by Ben Ratliff, Times Books (2002), pg. 80; OCLC 49679630
  8. ^ The Encyclopedia of Jazz, Leonard Geoffrey Feather (ed.), New York; Horizon Press
        1st ed. (1955); OCLC 521647793
        Rev. and enlarged (1960); OCLC 1351055
  9. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Barry Dean Kernfeld & Stanley Sadie (ed.)
        1st ed. (in 2 vols.) (1988); OCLC 16804283
        1st ed. (in 1 vol.) (1994); OCLC 30516743
        2nd ed. (in 3 vols.) (2002); OCLC 46956628
        Oxford Music Online; OCLC 5104918844
  10. ^ The Jazz Discography Online, Tom Lord (ed.), Lord Music, (retrieved February 20, 2015); OCLC 690104143 (subscription fee required; accessible at subscribing libraries)
  11. ^ "Jazz Education at the Westlake College of Music, 1945–61," by Michael T. Spencer, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Vol. 35, No. 1 , October 2013
  12. ^ "Donald R. Fromknecht," Musicians of Southern Utah, by Douglas Ivins Liston (1920–2013), Publisher's Place (2005), pg. 203; OCLC 62149029