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Roy Eldridge

One of the most exciting trumpeters to emerge during the swing era, Roy Eldridge's combative approach, chance-taking style and strong musicianship were an inspiration (and an influence) to the next musical generation, most notably Dizzy Gillespie. Although he sometimes pushed himself farther than he could go, Eldridge never played a dull solo.

Roy Eldridge started out playing trumpet and drums in carnival and circus bands. With the Nighthawk Syncopators he received a bit of attention by playing a note-for-note re-creation of Coleman Hawkins' tenor solo on "The Stampede." Inspired by the dynamic playing of Jabbo Smith (Eldridge would not discover Louis Armstrong for a few years), Eldridge played with some territory bands including Zack Whyte and Speed Webb and in New York (where he arrive in 1931) he worked with Elmer Snowden (who nicknamed him "Little Jazz"), McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and most importantly Teddy Hill (1935). Eldridge's recorded solos with Hill, backing Billie Holiday and with Fletcher Henderson (including his 1936 hit "Christopher Columbus") gained a great deal of attention. In 1937 he appeared with his octet (which included brother Joe on alto) at the Three Deuces Club in Chicago and recorded some outstanding selections as a leader including "Heckler's Hop" and "Wabash Stomp." By 1939 Eldridge had a larger group playing at the Arcadia Ballroom in New York. With the decline of Bunny Berigan and the increasing predictability of Louis Armstrong, Eldridge was arguably the top trumpeter in jazz during this era.

During 1941-1942 Eldridge sparked Gene Krupa's Orchestra, recording classic versions of "Rockin' Chair" and "After You've Gone" and interacting with Anita O'Day on "Let Me Off Uptown." The difficulties of traveling with a White band during a racist period hurt him, as did some of the incidents that occurred during his stay with Artie Shaw (1944-1945) but the music during both stints was quite memorable. Eldridge can be seen in several "soundies" (short promotional film devoted to single songs) of this era by the Krupa band, often in association with O'Day, including "Let Me Off Uptown" and "Thanks for the Boogie Ride." He is also very prominent in the band's appearance in Howard Hawks' Ball of Fire, in an extended performance of "Drum Boogie" mimed by Barbara Stanwyck, taking a long trumpet solo -- the clip was filmed soon after Eldridge joined the band in late April of 1941, and "Drum Boogie" was a song that Eldridge co-wrote with Krupa.

Eldridge had a short-lived big band of his own, toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic, and then had a bit of an identity crisis when he realized that his playing was not as modern as the beboppers. A successful stay in France during 1950-1951 restored his confidence when he realized that being original was more important than being up-to-date. Eldridge recorded steadily for Norman Granz in the '50s, was one of the stars of JATP (where he battled Charlie Shavers and Dizzy Gillespie), and by 1956, was often teamed with Coleman Hawkins in a quintet; their 1957 appearance at Newport was quite memorable. The '60s were tougher as recording opportunities and work became rarer. Eldridge had brief and unhappy stints with Count Basie's Orchestra and Ella Fitzgerald (feeling unnecessary in both contexts) but was leading his own group by the end of the decade. He spent much of the '70s playing regularly at Ryan's and recording for Pablo and, although his range had shrunk a bit, Eldridge's competitive spirit was still very much intact. Only a serious stroke in 1980 was able to halt his horn. Roy Eldridge recorded throughout his career for virtually every label. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Essential Jazz Masters

1. Royal Garden Blues

2. The Song Is Ended

3. I Can't Get Started

4. Cocktails For Two

5. Blue Moon

6. Sweethearts On Parade

7. Tea For Two

8. The Nearness Of You

9. Jazz Me Blues

10. A Foggy Day

11. I've Found A New Baby

12. Bugle Call Rag

13. I Only Have Eyes For You

14. Algo Bueno

15. Struttin' With Some Barbecue

16. Stormy Weather

17. Jada

18. If I Had You

19. Time On My Hands

20. Pretty Eyed Baby

21. Trumpet Blues

22. Sweet Georgia Brown

23. The Walker

24. Tin Roof Blues

25. Bean Stalkin'

26. That's A Plenty

27. Black And Blue

x

Track List: Jazzmasters, Vol. 12: Roy Eldridge (Part 1)

1. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

2. Royal Flush

3. The Gasser

4. Stardust

5. Minor Jive

6. After You've Gone

7. Body And Soul

8. Little Jazz

9. Summertime

10. Scuttlebutt

11. The Gentle Grifter

12. Hop Skip And Jump

x

Track List: Little Jazz Greats

1. Sam, Sam The Vegetable Man

2. Chinatown, My Chinatown

3. Yellow Fire

4. Mr. Ghost Goes To Town

5. Woodchopper's Ball

6. Body And Soul (2008)

7. St. Louis Blues (2008)

8. Swinging At The Deuces

9. Mahogany Hall Stomp

10. Little Jazz

11. Deuces Medley: I Surrender Dear / Marie / Peckin' / I Got Rhythm

12. Heckler's Hop

13. Minor Jive (2008)

14. Roy's Riffin' Now

15. Swing Is Here

16. Oh, Lady Be Good (2008)

17. Pluckin' The Bass

18. Sweet Georgia Brown

19. Exactly Like You

20. Shine

21. Basin Street Blues

22. King Of The Bongo Bong

23. I Never Knew

24. Arcadia Shuffle

25. After You've Gone (2008)

x

Track List: Little Jazz Giant

Disc 1

1. Swingin' On That Famous Door (Feat. The Delta Four)

2. Farewell Blues (Feat. The Delta Four)

3. Mary Had A Little Lamb (Feat. The Teddy Wilson Orchestra)

4. Wabash Stomp (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

5. Florida Stomp (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

6. Heckler's Hop (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

7. Where The Lazy River Goes By (Feat. Gladys Palmer)

8. That Thing (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

9. After You've Gone (Feat. Gladys Palmer, Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

10. The Gasser (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

11. Jump Through The Window (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

12. I Can't Get Started (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

13. (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)After You've Gone

14. Body And Soul (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

15. Fish Market (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

16. Twilight Time (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

17. Little Jazz Boogie (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

18. Embraceable You (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

19. All The Cats Join In (Feat. Buster Harding)

20. Ain't That A Shame? (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

21. Hi Ho Trailus Boot Whip (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

22. Tippin' Out (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

23. Yard Dog (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

24. Lover, Come Back To Me (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

25. Rockin' Chair (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

26. It's The Talk Of The Town (Feat. Roy Eldridge & His Orchestra)

Disc 2

1. Don't Be That Way (Feat. The Little Jazz Trumpet Ensemble)

2. I Want To Be Happy (Feat. The Little Jazz Trumpet Ensemble)

3. Fiesta In Brass (Feat. The Little Jazz Trumpet Ensemble)

4. St. Louis Blues (Feat. The Little Jazz Trumpet Ensemble)

5. I Only Have Eyes For You (Feat. Coleman Hawkins Quintet)

6. 'S'wonderful (Feat. Coleman Hawkins Quintet)

7. I'm In The Mood For Love (Feat. Coleman Hawkins Quintet)

8. Bean At The Met (Feat. Coleman Hawkins Quintet)

9. The Grabtown Grapple (Feat. Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five)

10. The Sad Sack (Feat. Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five)

11. Little Jazz (Feat. Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five)

12. Scuttlebutt (Feat. Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five)

13. Mysterioso (Feat. Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five)

14. Hop Skip And Jump (Feat. Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five)

15. The Gentle Grifter (Feat. Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five)

16. King David (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

17. Undecided (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

18. Ain't No Flies On Me (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

19. Wild Driver (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

20. If I Had You (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

21. Nuts (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

22. Goliath Bounce (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

23. I Remember Harlem (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

24. L'isle Adam (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

25. Tu Disais Que Tu M'aimais (Feat. King David & His Little Jazz)

Disc 3

1. I'd Love Him So

2. Fireworks

3. Wild Man Blues

4. Echoes Of Harlem

5. School Days

6. Saturday Night Fish Fry - Part 1

7. Saturday Night Fish Fry - Part 2

8. The Heat's On

9. No Rolling Blues

10. They Raided The Joint

11. Roy's Got Rhythm

12. Nappin' John

13. Scottie

14. Baby, What's The Matter With You?

15. Yard Dog

16. Sweet Lorraine

17. Jumbo The Elephant

18. Basin Street Blues (Feat. George Williams Orchestra)

19. I Remember Harlem (Feat. George Williams Orchestra)

20. Easter Parade (Feat. George Williams Orchestra)

21. I See Everybody's Baby (Feat. George Williams Orchestra)

22. Roy's Riff (Feat. Oscar Peterson Quartet)

23. Wrap You Troubles In Dreams (Feat. Oscar Peterson Quartet)

24. Rockin' Chair (Feat. Oscar Peterson Quartet)

25. Little Jazz (Feat. Oscar Peterson Quartet)

x

Track List: At The Arcadia Ballroom 1939

3. Arcadia Shuffle

4. St Louis Blues

5. Swinging At The Deuces

6. Sweet Georgia Brown

7. Yellow Fire

8. Shine

10. Woodchopper's Ball

11. Heckler's Hop

12. Sam, Sam The Vegetable Man

14. Roy's Riffin' Now

15. King Of Bongo Bong

x

Track List: The Complete Verve Studio Sessions

Disc 1

1. Baby What's The Matter With You

2. Yard Dog

3. Sweet Lorraine

4. Jumbo The Elephant

5. Basin Street Blues

6. I Remember Harlem

7. Easter Parade

8. I See Everybody's Baby

9. Roy's Riff

10. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

11. Rockin' Chair

12. Little Jazz

13. Love For Sale

14. Dale's Wail

15. The Man I Love

16. Oscar's Arrangement

17. Dale's Wail (Alternate Take 10)

18. Dale's Wail (Alternate Take 12)

19. Dale's Wail (Alternate Take 13)

Disc 2

1. Willow Weep For Me

2. Somebody Loves Me

3. When Your Lover Has Gone

4. When It's Sleepy Time Down South

5. Feeling A Draft

6. Don't Blame Me

7. Echoes Of Harlem

8. I Can't Get Started

9. When It's Sleepy Time Down South (Alternate Take)

10. Echoes Of Harlem (10" LP Master)

11. A Foggy Day

12. Blue Moon

13. Stormy Weather

14. Sweethearts On Parade

15. If I Had You

16. I Only Have Eyes For You

17. Sweet Georgia Brown

18. The Song Is Ended

Disc 3

1. Sometimes I'm Happy

2. Algo Bueno

3. Trumpet Blues

4. The Heat's On

5. Ballad Medley

6. Blue Moon

7. I've Found A New Baby

8. Pretty-Eyed Baby

9. I Can't Get Started

Disc 4

1. Limehouse Blues

2. Steeplechase

3. Tour De Force

4. Ballad Medley

5. Les Tricheurs

6. Phil's Tune (BOF "Les Tricheurs")

Disc 5

1. I Still Love Him So (Feat. Benny Carter)

2. The Moon Is Low (LP Take)

3. I Missed My Hat

4. Ballad Medley

5. Polite Blues

6. Close Your Eyes

7. The Moon Is Low (78 Version)

8. The Moon Is Low (Alternate Take)

9. I Missed My Hat (Alternate Version)

10. Close Your Eyes (Alternate Version)

11. Ballad Medley (Alternate Take)

12. Where's Art

13. I Don't Know

14. Striding

15. Wailing

Disc 6

1. That's A Plenty

2. Royal Garden Blues

3. Jazz Me Blues

4. Tin Roof Blues

5. Struttin' With Some Barbecue

6. (What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue

7. Bugle Call Rag

8. Ja Da

9. Royal Garden Blues (Alternate Take)

10. Music For A Stripteaser

11. Sprang

Disc 7

1. It Never Entered My Mind

2. You're Blase

3. A Foggy Day

4. Stars Fell On Alabama

5. Can't We Be Friends?

6. I Can't Get Started

7. How Long Has This Been Going On?

8. Have You Met Miss Jones?

9. Our Love Is Here To Stay

10. Cheek To Cheek

11. They Can't Take That Away From Me

12. Blue Moon

13. Bossa Nova

14. The Way You Look Tonight

15. Sweet Sue (Just You)

16. I've Got A Crush On You

17. When I Grow Too Old To Dream

18. Dreamy

19. Honeysuckle Rose

20. All The Things You Are

21. Easy Living

22. But Not For Me

23. Song Of The Islands

24. Misty

x

Track List: Little Jazz: The Best Of The Verve Years

1. Dale's Wail

2. Little Jazz

3. I Remember Harlem

4. Let Me Off Uptown (Feat. Gene Krupa Big Band & Anita O'Day)

5. Rockin' Chair

6. Willow Weep For Me

7. Bugle Call Rag (Feat. Central Plaza Dixielanders, Buck Clayton & Harry Edison)

8. Ja Da (Feat. Central Plaza Dixielanders, Buck Clayton & Harry Edison)

9. Wailin'

10. Blue Moon (Feat. Oscar Peterson)

11. Sweet Georgia Brown

12. Sunday (Feat. Coleman Hawkins)

13. I Still Love Him So (Feat. Benny Carter)

14. Honey Hill

15. How Long Has This Been Going On?

16. Roy's Son

17. Dreamy

18. When I Grow Too Old To Dream

19. The Song Is Ended

x

Track List: After You've Gone

1. After You've Gone

2. The Gasser

3. Jump Through The Window

4. Minor Jive

5. Star Dust

6. Lady Be Good

7. I Surrender, Dear

8. Body And Soul

9. I Can't Get Started

10. After You've Gone

11. Fish Market

12. Twilight Time

13. St. Louis Blues

14. Embraceable You

15. All The Cats Join In

16. Poor John

17. Hi Ho Trailus Boot Whip

18. Yard Dog

19. Lover, Come Back To Me

20. Rockin' Chair

21. It's The Talk Of The Town

22. Christopher Columbus

x

Track List: Happy Time

1. Sweethearts On Parade

2. Willow Weep For Me

5. All Of Me

8. I Can't Get Started

10. Let Me Off Uptown

x

Track List: Little Jazz And The Jimmy Ryan All-Stars

1. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

2. St. James Infirmary

3. Beale Street Blues

4. Black And Blue

5. Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)

6. Wynola

7. Cute

8. Bourbon Street Parade

9. All Of Me

10. Last Call At Jimmy Ryan's

11. Black And Blue (Alternate Take)

12. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Alternate Take)

13. Last Call At Jimmy Ryan's (Alternate Take)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
He certainly knew how to play the trumpet...He a v y !
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deplumer
Admittedly, having never studied music, and as I sit, at the ripe 'young' age of age of 50, I don't know as much about Roy Eldridge's contribution s to the genre as as I do some of his more popular contemporari e s and successors. Shame on me!
Like most fine arts and artists, the most 'popular' or the most commercially 'successful' are not necessarily the 'best'! Eldridge is a prime example of this phenomenon!
The more I listen to and learn about the likes of guys like Eldridge, Teddy, Oscar Pe
Report as inappropriate
poppa_bear49
...And to hits and greats just keep coming and coming...han d l e your business PANDORA, handle your business.
Report as inappropriate
wilbudge
Smooth......
Report as inappropriate
Great station, first I hear Sidney Bechet, then some 'Sweets', followed by Roy Eldridge. Where else but my IPod or Pandora!!!
Report as inappropriate
jameskaps
Suffice it to say--"This man could play a trumpet with the best!"

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