ROY ELDRIDGE & GENE KRUPA – “SAINT LOUIS BLUES” – Two exciting takes from December 1942


GeneKrupa_1942-1943_Fanfare_aYou don’t wanna know how those two tracks sounded before I laid my hands on them and erased the umpteen clicks, pops, blops, and last but not least before I corrected their pitches.

As far as I know – and believe me, I do! – the “SAINT LOUIS BLUES” is in G. In its initial form, as composer William Christopher Handy intended it to begin, this blues got a prefix in g-minor: A tango rhythm sets the mood.

Hear the original “SAINT LOUIS BLUES”, as recorded by its composer W. C. Handy & His Orchestra in 1923.

No tango *here*. Just two neckbreaking, super-speedy swing rides by the most exuberant, the most expressive, the most passionate trumpeter & vocalist of the swing era, by Mr. “Little Jazz” Roy Eldridge.

He invented this only-trumpet-bass ‘n’ drums thing, and named it “strolling”. Aha! I wonder how it was going for a car ride with Roy 😉

Once again: I wished I was there. You will too.

Enjoy it!

— Personnel, locations & dates:

Roy Eldridge (tp, vcl) Mickey Mangano, Norman Murphy, Al Beck (tp) Greg Phillips (tb) Tommy Pederson (tb, arr) Babe Wagner (tb) Wilbur Schwartz (cl, as) Ben Feman (as) Jimmy Migliori, Don Brassfield (ts) Rex Kittig (bar) Joe Springer (p) Teddy Walters (g) Ed Mihelich (b) Gene Krupa (d) Leroy Elton Hill (arr).

#1: Radio broadcast, “Hollywood Palladium”, Los Angeles, December 20, 1942 (on Fanfare LP44-144).

#2, filed under “I’D RATHER SLEEP IN A HOLLOW LOG”: Broadcast, “Spotlight Bands”, March Field, CA, December 25, 1942 (on Fanfare LP 10-110).


P.S. — I’m not sure who was on tenor. It could as well have been Charlie Ventura (introduced by one announcer on several broadcasts as “Venturo”), but he officially joined the Gene Krupa Orchestra a few weeks later, ’round January 9, 1943.

Well, I’m certain it ain’t Caruso 😉Little-Jazz_Roy-Eldridge_1940-s

“Thanks a swingin’ load, Little Jazz!”

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