Today's Memory

Roy Eldridge’s birthday

Roy Eldridge’s birthday

Roy Eldridge’s birthday

Originally shared by Simona AN

Roy Eldridge

January 30, 1911, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – February 26, 1989, Valley Stream, New York

David Roy Eldridge , nicknamed Little Jazz , was an American jazz trumpet player, one of the great creative musicians of the 1930s.

A child prodigy, Eldridge began his professional career in 1917 when, on New Year’s Eve, he played the drums in his elder brother’s band.

Eldridge broke away from the traditional conception involving figures that were most natural to the trumpet (arpeggiated lines and sustained tones) and generated a technically difficult approach resembling jazz saxophone improvisation: very fast, scalelike passages. In addition, he incorporated harmonically unorthodox choices of notes and leaps into the high register (he loved to hear a note squeal and crack), which provided the basis for Dizzy Gillespie’s enormously influential modern jazz trumpet style.

He is one of the most influential musicians of the swing era and a precursor of bebop.

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