Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic Second British Tour 1959 006
Pages 8 and 9 of a souvenir brochure for Norman Granz and Harold Davison's second Jazz at the Philharmonic British tour. Both pages are dedicated to profiling jazz trumpeter Roy Eldridge, with a portrait photograph on page 9. An advert for Melody Maker also features on page 8.
|Catalogue Reference Number||NJA/PRO/4|
|Creator||Jack Higgins, Benny Green|
|Title or Caption|
|Event Date||May 2nd - 17th 1959|
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The other star of this JATP show is a man who, because of the advanced nature of his style towards the end of the Swing Era, has become, and rightly so, a key figure in jazz criticism. Roy Eldridge, one of the great trumpeters of the 1930âs, was originally the man who inspired Dizzy Gillespie to become a dominating trumpeter himself. The way Dizzy tells it, he always tried to play like Little Jazz, but seeing he would never make it, experimented with his own style.
Whether this is one hundred per cent true or not, there is no question that for many years it was Eldridge who was breaking new ground, and becoming something of a moral leader to his generation. He is typical of the kind of musician (Lester Young was another) who did so much to rescue jazz from the impasse in which it found itself at the end of the âthirties.
In the British catalogues may still be found listed some of the old Billie Holiday-Teddy Wilson pick-up sides on which Eldridge played so superbly. That was more than twenty years ago, and Eldridge is still a highly active jazz musician. To most theorists who worry about such things, Eldridge represents the logical link in jazz trumpet-playing between the eras of Armstrong and Gillespie, for he retains much of the elemental power of Louis and much of the harmonic subtlety of Dizzy. From whichever angle he is seen, Roy Eldridge is a vital figure in the history of jazz, and it is yet another manifestation of the incredible swiftness of jazz evolution when compared with that of other art forms, that he should still be active and playing on the same bill as Krupa, who started in the brash days of the Chicagoans, and Ray Brown, who was born at just about that time.
Since the American and British Musiciansâ Unions managed to come to an agreement about tours of this kind, many different groups playing a diversity of styles have visited this country, usually with great success. It is doubtful whether many of them contain so much potential undiluted jazz, pure jazz, jazz from the source as the JATP bills we have seen and will see again this season. JATP contains a microcosm of the American jazz scene itself, so that to become musically familiar with it is to gain an intimate knowledge of the fortunes of jazz on its own home ground. BENNY GREEN.
â the best coverage
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