Harry 'Sweets' Edison got the most mileage out of a single note, like his former boss Count Basie. Edison, immediately recognizable within a note or two, long used repetition and simplicity to his advantage while always swinging.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, on October 10, 1915, he played in local bands and then in 1933 joined the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra. After a couple years in St. Louis, Edison moved to New York where he joined Lucky Millinder and then in June 1938, Count Basie, remaining with that classic orchestra until it broke up in 1950. During that period, he was featured on many records, appeared in the 1944 short Jammin' the Blues and gained his nickname "Sweets" (due to his tone) from Lester Young.
In the 1950s, Edison toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic, settled in Los Angeles, and was well-featured both as a studio musician (most noticeably on Frank Sinatra records) and on...