Roy Eldridge

The Early Years

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Next to Louis Armstrong and Bunny Berigan, Roy Eldridge was one of the big three of jazz trumpeters who were active in the second half of the '30s. His stirring outbursts were consistently exciting and became a major influence on the playing of his contemporaries. This two-LP set has many of the highpoints of Eldridge's early years, particularly on the first album. He is heard in 1935 with Teddy Hill's Orchestra, guesting with Teddy Wilson in 1939 and on three titles with Mildred Bailey the following year (taking a futuristic solo on "I'm Nobody's Baby") but it is the six numbers that he recorded with his own small group in 1937 that are most outstanding, particularly "Wabash Stomp," "Heckler's Hop," "That Thing" and his first version of "After You've Gone." The second album is more unusual for it includes alternate takes of ten numbers that Eldridge recorded with Gene Krupa's Orchestra during 1941-42 including "new" versions of such hits as "Green Eyes," "Let Me Off Uptown," "After You've Gone" and "Rockin' Chair." This two-fer concludes with a pair of numbers from 1949 when Eldridge briefly returned to Krupa's band.