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.
Born in Pittsburgh, PA (January 30, 1911), 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...Read more