Roy Eldridge, Little Jazz Giant by John Chilton
(Bayou Jazz Lives)

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Roy Eldridge, Little Jazz Giant is the first biography of the spectacular trumpeter, Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge, whose style is universally recognised as the all-important link between the playing styles of Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie. Roy's daring harmonic approach and his technically awesome improvisations provided inspiration for countless jazz musicians. But he was also a star performer in his own right, whose exciting recordings gained him an international reputation. Eldridge's improvisations in the extreme high register always added a thrilling edge to his solos and his perpetually competitive attitude towards other trumpeters gained him a special place in the hearts of jazz lovers. From the late 1940s through the 1970s, he continued to develop his worldwide reputation by playing an important part in the famous Jazz at the Philharmonic tours, all the while adding to his impassioned recorded performances.John Chilton, who knew Eldridge for many years, sheds new light on the various occasions when Eldridge unwillingly became entangled with gangsters in New York and Chicago. There are revealing details about Eldridge's uneven working relationships with Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie.

About John Chilton

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John Chilton divides his time between being a professional jazz trumpeter and writing books on jazz. In 2000 he won the British Jazz Award for Writer of the Year. His books include Billie's Blues (on Billie Holiday), The Wizard of Jazz (on Sidney Bechet), and Let the Good Times Roll (on Louis Jordan). Both his Who's Who of Jazz (Storyville to Swing Street) and his Who's Who of British Jazz have been hailed as the best reference works of their kind. Down Beat magazine calls Chilton "a master of the craft of research.
Published August 5, 2002 by Bloomsbury Academic. 456 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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In this first biography of "Little Jazz" Eldridge, Chilton reminds readers that the risk-taking Eldridge inspired a young Dizzy Gillespie to create the revolutionary style called bop.

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ForeWord Reviews

In fact, in establishing this drive to play, the author is at his best as a biographer, capturing the feel and flavor of the after-hours gigs and their importance in developing be-bop, a musical style that Eldridge did not favor, although many of its pivotal players, most notably Gillespie, cite ...

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