Before recording his most notable work (to that point) as a saxophonist in Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” nonet, his initial reputation was as an arranger, including a stint in 1946 as the staff arranger in Gene Krupa’s Orchestra. He would eventually become one of the leading voices on his instrument for almost 50 years. Who is he?
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May 23rd, 2018
Excerpted from Roy Eldridge: Little Jazz Giant by John Chilton
The booking at the Capitol was extended into 1941, but Roy’s long term prospects looked no better than they had a year earlier. However, Roy’s old friend drummer Gene Krupa was about to offer him a life-changing opportunity. Krupa had finished his stint with Benny Godman almost three years earlier and was now one of the foremost bandleaders of the era. Krupa’s Band played at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago during late 1940 and Gene often visited the Capitol (with his wife Ethel and manager Frank Verniere) after he’d finished his sets. Sometimes Roy went off with Gene to find a nightspot on the South Side where they could jam and eat ribs. During this Chicago stay Roy, as ever, was always game for an “after-work” blow,...
July 29th, 2004