Eddie Chamblee was a good, sometimes inspirational player who made contributions in both big-band and small-combo settings as well as early R&B.
Born February in Atlanta, GA, on February 24, 1920, Chamblee studied law at Chicago State University, then played with several Army bands from 1941 to 1946. He headed a small group in Chicago from 1946 until the mid-'50s, then worked for two years with Lionel Hampton, recording and touring in Europe in 1956. Chamblee went back to small combos, and backed vocalist Dinah Washington on many superb dates in 1957, 1958, and 1963. (He and Washington were also briefly married.)
Chamblee worked with Milt Buckner and Hampton in the '70s, returning with them to Europe in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He also recorded with each musician, and did some sessions with his own band in 1976. He also played for a short period in Count Basie's orchestra in 1982.