It's time again for a fast Balboa tune. Let's bring back David Roy Eldridge (Jan. 30, 1911 – Feb. 26, 1989).
Roy “Little Jazz” Eldridge
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 and in New York (where he arrived in 1931) he worked with Elmer Snowden (who nicknamed him “Little Jazz”), McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and most importantly Teddy Hill (1935).
Eldridge's recorded solos with Hill, backing Billie Holiday and with Fletcher Henderson (including his 1936 hit “Christopher Columbus”) gained a great deal of attention.
In 1937 he appeared with his octet (which included brother Joe on alto) at the Three Deuces Club in Chicago and recorded some outstanding selections as a leader including “Heckler's Hop” and “Wabash Stomp.” By 1939 Eldridge had a larger group playing at the Arcadia Ballroom in New York.
With the decline of Bunny Berigan and the increasing predictability of Louis Armstrong, Eldridge was arguably the top trumpeter in jazz during this era.
This tempo in this clip is actually slower than on the stated album!
How you like Roy Eldridge's trumpet style? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Every Monday, I post a new “Song of the Week“.
You can find the songs also on my Spotify playlist or on 8tracks.
Song of the Week #76: “Wabash Stomp” by Roy Eldridge
Song of the Week #137: “Skinny Minne” by Glenn Crytzer & His Syncopators
Song of the Week #136: “There Ain’t No Sweet Man That’s Worth The Salt Of My Tears” by Diana Krall
Song of the Week #135: “Moten Swing” by Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra
Song of the Week #134: “I Ain't Got Nobody” by Lew Stone