LET’s START THE YEAR WITH SOME GREAT BIG JAZZ BY … ‘Little Jazz’ Roy Eldridge (1911-1989) — (Some Links added, 01-10-2015)

RoyEldridge_1937This is what I sent to a couple of friends and to my trumpet students: “Bruno’s New Year’s Compilation”, featuring ‘Little Jazz’ Roy Eldridge with Gene Krupa & His Orchestra, Anita O’Day, and some more obscure tracks with Roy as sideman from 1936 to 1950:

Roy ‘Little Jazz’ Eldridge with Gene Krupa – Studio & ‘Live’ Recordings – 1936-1942

Gene Krupa’s Swing Band:BennyGoodman_TheComplete_Vol_2

Gene Krupa (d) Roy Eldridge (tp) Benny Goodman (cl) Chu Berry (ts) Jess Stacy (p) Allen Reuss (g) Israel Crosby (b) Helen Ward (voc) – Chicago, February 29, 1936

01 I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music
02 Mutiny In The Parlor (Helen Ward, voc)
03 I’m Gonna Clap My Hands (Helen Ward, voc)
03 Swing Is Here


GeneKrupa_DrumminMan_CBS-Box_frontGene Krupa & His Orchestra:

04 Let Me Off Uptown (Anita O’Day & Roy Eldridge, voc; alternate)
05 Let Me Off Uptown (Anita O’Day & Roy Eldridge, voc; master) – New York, May 8, 1941
06 Kick It (Anita O’Day, voc; studio) – New York, June 5, 1941
07 Rockin’ Chair (‘Live’)RoyEldridge_TheKrupaYears_1941-1942_SIdeman-1940_a
08 Kick It (‘Live’) – June 7, 1941
09 Tunin’ Up (Studio; original shellack)
RoyEldridge_EarlyYears_CBS_a10 Rockin’ Chair (Studio; alternate)
11 Rockin’ Chair (Studio; master) – New York, July 2, 1941
12 Tunin’ Up (‘Live’)
13 Let Me Off Uptown (Anita O’Day & Roy Eldridge, voc; ‘live’) – September 17, 1941

14 Thanks For The Boogie Ride (Anita O’Day, voc) – January 17, 1942
15 12th Street Rag
16 One O’Clock Jump (‘Live’) – March 18, 1942Little-Jazz_Roy-Eldridge_1940-s
17 Embraceable You (Roy Eldridge, tp) – March 20, 1942
18 Drum Boogie (Anita O’Day, voc; spliced_’live’) – Part 1, unknown date; part 2, August 24, 1942

Roy ‘Little Jazz’ Eldridge – Miscellaneous Tracks – Sideman Years

FreddieRich_Bandleader_1898-1956Freddie Rich & His Orchestra

01 ‘Till We Meet Again
02 A House With A Little Red Barn (Rosemary Calvin, voc)
03 I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
04 How High The Moon (Rosemary Calvin, voc) – Benny Carter (as & arr); NYC, February 14, 1940


GeneKrupa_AnitaODay_1942Gene Krupa & His Orchestra:

05 Starburst (Theme) into Tunin’ Up
06 Alreet (Anita O’Day, voc)
07 Ball Of Fire (‘Live’) – NYC, Spring 1941
08 After You’ve Gone (Alternate)
09 After You’ve Gone (Master) – NYC, June 5, 1941

10 Gary Cooper Is Searching For Slang And Is Finding ‘The Drum- & The Match-Boogie’ Instead (Martha Tilton, voc; from the screwball comedy “Ball Of Fire”, 1941) – Hollywood, Autumn 1941

11 Skylark (Anita O’Day, voc)
12 Bolero At The Savoy (Anita O’Day, voc)
13 Thanks For The Boogie Ride (Anita O’Day, voc) – New York, November 25, 1941RoyEldridge_bw

14 Ball Of Fire (Alternate)
15 Ball Of Fire (Master) – New York, December 29, 1941

Boyd Raeburn & His Orchestra:

16 A Night In Tunisia (Roy Eldridge, tp; Tommy Pederson, tb) – Radio transcription “Hotel Lincoln”, New York, March 27 & April 3, 1944
->>>—-> JazzTube-Link

RoyEldridge_ReadsBenny Goodman & His Orchestra:

17 Darktown Strutter’s Ball (1944-version; ‘live’)

Gene Krupa & His Orchestra:

18 After You’ve Gone (‘Live’-1949) ->>>—> JazzTube-Link


King David & His Little Jazz:

Roy Eldridge (tp) Benny Vasseur (tb) Albert Ferreri (ts) William Boucaya (bars) Raymond Fol (p) Barney Spieler (b) Robert Barnet (d).

19 I Remember Harlem – Paris, October 28, 1950RoyEldridge_TheManyFacesOfJazz-Vol-9_a

Now, why did I compile all those recordings in this manner? The nucleus, so to speak, is this one LP: “Roy Eldridge – The Krupa Years 1941-42 – Sideman 1940”. I always loved it, but I – as you meanwhile know me – hated it at the same time.

It’s because its careless structure: A wild mix of dates, many tunes are off-pitch, and the last four tracks seem to serve as a filler to make the LP a bit longer.

The first thing was to bring the Eldridge-Krupa tracks in chronological order. Then I corrected the pitches and smoothened the spliced tunes a little (no cuts of course, but correcting pitch-changes in between them).Tunin' Up

Then I added the wonderful session with the 1936-tracks, and the studio versions (they are on the great twofer “Drummin’ Man”), together with alternates from another CBS twofer (Roy Eldridge – The Early Years), and voilà:

— The 1st album was complete 🙂

BennyCarter_1940The 2nd album starts with the four 1940-studio tracks by the Freddie Rich Orchestra, the girl-vocalist, Miss Rosemary Calvin (she sang with Vaughn Monroe), a quite restrained sounding Roy, and Benny Carter who penned some of the arrangements. This was obviously just a routine gig for the two, and they are strictly improvising, err, by the book.


Roy & Gene %22Tunin' Up%22The next three tracks are with the Krupa Gang, with Anita, and a weirdly (loaded?) sounding “Little Jazz” (if he was soloing at “Fire Ball” at all?). — Then some of the great hits, and a couple of tracks with Roy, messing up both, the 1944-Goodman-aggregation, and the 1949-Krupa bop-band.

The most obscure track is the probably first recorded version of “A Night In Tunisia” while Roy was meeting Raeburn.

— By the way: The scene from “Fire Ball”, when Miss Stanwyck is entering the stage for the 2nd time, and Roy’s missing in the trumpet section, has been described as a racial thing. — I think it’s not that easy to tell.


If you’d listen closely at “Match-Boogie”, you will hear guitar, bass & a muted trumpet … guess who’s *NOT* missing? — I think, Roy either went to the toilet, or he just was directed towards the table for preparing the “Match-Boogie” scene. — OK, we don’t see him; but he’s audible. — The “official” reason why we don’t see him? They told him he was too tall, and so he had to stay in the background … Aha! And Mr. Cooper (6′ 3″/ 1,91 m) was obviously too small 😉

It’s a pity that there are not too many live-recordings with the 1941-42 Krupa band; but the few tracks are full of joy, swing, and jazzy creativity: A very explosive bandleader and his top brass man at their peaks. — Wow!GeneKrupa_bw

The last track on the 2nd album, “I REMEMBER HARLEM”, is telling us the tale of a little black jazz trumpeter who made it big time, but who was struggling for justice during his whole life.

We all know the stories about a crying Roy Eldridge in Gene’s brass section after racist hotel managers had told him to use the backstage door for getting on the band stand, despite his protest that he would be on the poster at the main entrance.

— Hey, that’s all over, he made it anyway, and that victoriously!


P.S. — Although this is mainly a text-post, I will nevertheless add some links to music & videos later on. — Stay tuned!
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