One of the great jokesters in jazz (whose spontaneous monologues are as hilarious as they are tasteless), Jack Sheldon's personality has sometimes overshadowed his excellent trumpet playing and effective vocals.
Born in Jacksonville, Florida, on November 30, 1931, Sheldon started playing professionally at age 13. He moved to Los Angeles in 1947, joined the Air Force and played in military bands. After his discharge, Sheldon became a popular figure on the West Coast, playing and recording with many top musicians including Jimmy Giuffre, Herb Geller, Wardell Gray, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Curtis Counce, and Art Pepper.
He worked as an actor in the 1960s (including starring in the short-lived television series Run Buddy Run), was seen nightly on The Merv Griffin Show, and in the 1970s and '80s he performed with Benny Goodman, Bill Berry's big band, in the studios, and with his own...