Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Roy Eldridge
Trumpeter Roy Eldridge was one of the all time greats of jazz. He was known as Little Jazz. This Columbia comp focuses on his very successful run with The Gene Krupa Orchestra in the early 40s. He was born Jan. 30, 1911 in Pittsburgh. He started out playing trumpet in carnival and circus bands until he moved to New York in 1931. Eldridge got his first opportunity to shine as a featured soloist with Teddy Hill's band in 1935. Billie Holiday was the singer. He had his own band in the late 30s and had emerged as one of the top trumpeters in jazz. Meanwhile Gene Krupa was one of the most popular big band leaders because of his frenetic drumming style. Eldridge joined the Krupa band along with singer Anita O'Day and immediately added more authentic jazz swing to the band. They had several hits including Let Me Off Uptown & Thanks For The Boogie Ride. Eldridge & Krupa were also featured in the 1941 film Ball Of Fire with Barbara Stanwyck. Ball Of Fire is an instrumental written by Eldridge & Krupa and features solos by Eldridge and clarinetist Sam Musiker. Of course Eldridge was the only black in a white band and that caused difficulties while touring. Eldridge also felt O'Day was upstaging him so he left the Krupa band in 1943 for Artie Shaw. Eldridge worked for Norman Granz in the 50s and was a big part of the Jazz At The Philharmonic series. He would continue to play regularly until his death on Feb. 26, 1989 at age 78. This comp is recommended to swing fans. Here's a Soundie of The Gene Krupa Orchestra featuring Anita O'Day & Roy Eldridge performing Let Me Off Uptown.