A good enough trumpeter to replace Clark Terry in the Quincy Jones Big Band, Roger Guerin played violin for nearly a decade before switching over to the brass realm. His status as one of France's great trumpeters can be considered to have been established quite early in his career, Guerin nabbing a first prize from the Paris Conservatory when still a teenager. He began gigging professionally in the second half of the '40s with a variety of bands, quickly getting into the thick of all things jazzy with bandleaders such as guitarist Django Reinhardt and saxophonists Don Byas and James Moody. During the '50s Guerin became more and more versatile, singing in an interesting ensemble organized by vocalist Blossom Dearie as well as continuing to play trumpet as a freelancer. Guerin performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 with an international youth ensemble that also included German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, and took over the aforementioned chair from Terry two years later. Big-band leader Michel Legrand has made excellent use of Guerin's capabilities as a soloist, resulting in several recordings that the trumpeter himself admitted are his favorites, including a version of Cole Porter's amorous "I Love You." By the early '90s Guerin had appeared on more than 150 different jazz albums. The majority of these performances are as an instrumentalist, but Guerin was also involved as a singer in several lineups of the vocal group Les Doubles Six.
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