Saturday, February 05, 2011

Roy Eldridge 100: Battle of the trumpets

ROY ELDRIDGE 100: Battle of the trumpets
All my life, I've loved to battle.
Hans Koert

Roy Eldridge 100: a neglected trumpet player spotlighted (English) Roy Eldridge 100: een vergeten trompettist in de schijnwerpers (Nederlands) Roy Eldridge 100: Battle of the trumpets (English) (maandag) Roy Eldridge 100: Little Trumpet wilde altijd de beste zijn (Nederlands)

On Monday the 30th of January, 1911, last weekend 100 years ago, David Roy Eldridge was born in Pittsburgh. In two blogs I love to spotlight this great trumpet player, who still has a lot of fans world wide. Today part two: Battle of the trumpets.

Embarkement of the Benny Goodman Sextet for a trip to Europe: f.l.t.r.: Dick Hyman - Nancy Reed - Ed Shaughenssy - Benny Goodman - Zoot Sims and Roy Eldridge ( April 1950) (photo courtesy: G.V. Enell & Associates).

In April 1950 Roy joined Benny Goodman at a trip to Europe, playing in Great Britain, Belgium ( with Jean Toots Thielemans) and Sweden. In the 1950s he was part of the Jazz at the Philharmonic, which brought him to The Netherlands for a concert at the Kurhaus in Scheveningen ( a beach resort near The Hague) (12th of April 1952) and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam two days later, in an all-star band with Lester Young, Flip Phillips, Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Irving Ashby, Ray Brown and Max Roach. Ella Fitzgerald was the vocalist.

Roy Eldridge ( 1911 - 1989)
In the 1950s Roy Eldridge visited our country almost every year and during the concerts in 1956 and 1958 he stood side by side with his pupil Dizzy Gillespie.
The next fragment was recorded during this period; Enjoy a trumpet battle between Dizzy Gillespie, Teddy Buckner, Bill Coleman and Roy Eldridge.

Roy Eldridge in action (ca. 1930s)
Up to the end of his life, Roy wanted to be the best at trumpet battles and jam sessions, but the younger generation of trumpet players, Dizzy Gillespie, Howard McGhee and, of course, Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, to list some, had dethroned him.
A great 1950s cover, designed by David Stone Martin.

It's rather shocking to learn that Roy Eldridge as a gifted trumpet player seems to be now almost forgotten and the fact that he was born 100 years, seems to be neglected by the younger generation of jazz lovers. Although I learned, due to some commends, that Roy is still highly respected by some colleagues and fans, it seems that no festivities have been organized last weekend. Only the
Jazz Ascona Festival 2011 seems to have scheduled a 100 anni di Roy Eldridge: tributo a Jazz Ascona 2011 later this year.

Enjoy the last 1961 fragment of the short film After Hours featuring Roy Eldridge playing Sunday.

On this film you can hear Roy Eldridge on trumpet, Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone, Johnny Guarnieri at the piano, Barry Galbraith on guitar, Milt Hinton on bass and Cozy Cole on drums.

Hans Koert

Last weekend Roy Eldridge was born 100 years ago. Little Trumpet, as he was nicknamed, developed into one of the most gifted trumpet players and respected and feared for his battles during jams. All my life, I've loved to battle, he once said in an interview. Last week I learned that he is not forgotten - trumpet players and jazz collectors disputed the word "neglected" or "vergeten" ( Dutch for "forgotten")I used in my previous contribution and these commends show that a lot of people still remember and appreciate Roy's high notes .......... The Keep swinging blog loves to point you to these landmarks in jazz history. If you don't want to miss any follow it at Twitter of ask for its free newsletter.

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