Roy Eldridge

Quintessence: Chicago-New York, 1936-1945

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During the decade covered by Fremeaux's Quintessence compilation, Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge was a vital force in the rapidly changing jazz scene, always operating near the cutting edge of stylistic developments as swing shape-shifted into bop. Like any Fremeaux collection, the Eldridge set covers a wide and varied terrain, illuminating many of his greatest moments on record from the period in question. At the outset he is heard with the Teddy Wilson and Fletcher Henderson orchestras and leading his own band in collaboration with his brother, arranger, and alto saxophonist Joe Eldridge. There are examples of his work with tenor saxophonist Chu Berry's Little Jazz Ensemble, some very friendly interactions with vocalists Billie Holiday and Mildred Bailey, several masterful outings with tenor sax archetype Coleman Hawkins, and a good sampling from Eldridge's adventures with Gene Krupa and Anita O'Day. The home stretch of this perky retrospective is peppered with choice cuts by Eldridge's fiery big band and Keynote trumpet ensemble, as well as a taste of his work with clarinetist Artie Shaw. Fremeaux's Quintessence serves as an excellent introduction to Roy Eldridge. A larger selection was presented in four-CD sets brought out by Avid and Proper, and an even more thorough survey by the Classics Chronological series in five consecutive volumes.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Teddy Wilson
2:56
2
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:10
3
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:14
4
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:17
5 3:33
6 3:28
7 3:10
8 2:59
9
2:38
10 2:34
11 3:03
12
3:01
13
2:13
14
3:56
15
3:54
16 2:49
17 4:39
18 2:59

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:15
2 3:10
3 2:42
4 3:04
5 2:59
6 3:03
7
2:48
8 2:55
9
2:28
10 3:05
11
3:18
12 3:12
13 2:53
14 2:24
15
feat: Artie Shaw
2:57
16 3:22
17 3:02
18
feat: Artie Shaw
3:10
blue highlight denotes track pick