Arthur Edgehill

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The professional career of drummer Arthur Edgehill began in 1948 when he temporarily dropped his studies at New York's Parkway Music Institute, picking up sticks and cases to hit the road with trumpeter…
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The professional career of drummer Arthur Edgehill began in 1948 when he temporarily dropped his studies at New York's Parkway Music Institute, picking up sticks and cases to hit the road with trumpeter and bandleader Mercer Ellington. The latter performer could also be described as feeling his oats in a temporary way in this period, launching what would inevitably be a failed bid to establish himself as a star on his own. Ellington Junior would eventually head back to his cozy perch in the Duke Ellington Big Band, combining lead trumpet and administrative abilities, while Edgehill edged back to school, where he remained through 1952.

When the drummer came back into the gigging picture he was once again associated with branches of Ellingtonia, specifically a 1953 touring combo fronted by one of the star soloists from the Ellington alumni, the fine tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. Edgehill, who picks out the major triad of modern jazz drummers from the bop era as his personal favorites, indeed became associated more with the hard bop side of things as he worked through the '50s, '60s, and '70s. He played with leaders such as pianist Horace Silver and alto saxophonist Gigi Gryce, and was a member of both Kenny Dorham's Jazz Prophets and a hard-swinging ensemble co-led by tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and organist Shirley Scott. This drummer is frequently found in terrific rhythm section company, his regular bassist partners including Sam Jones and George Duvivier. Edgehill's recording career seems to have ended in the late '70s; his work with brushes remains mostly an undiscovered delight for jazz fans.