Charles Victor Moore

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Trumpeter Charles Victor Moore enjoyed one of the lengthiest careers in the history of jazz. He began playing cornet at the age of ten, heavily prompted by a mother who was able to issue orders on both…
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Trumpeter Charles Victor Moore enjoyed one of the lengthiest careers in the history of jazz. He began playing cornet at the age of ten, heavily prompted by a mother who was able to issue orders on both trombone and piano. By high school, Moore had switched over to trumpet and was leading his own groups. The professional dates begin in 1924 with the ensemble of Bob Cruzett; in the same year, the trumpeter also pitched trumpet solos with Howard Bunts. Soon Moore put together his own group, calling it the Chocolate Dandies and enjoying great success with audiences in his native Detroit as well as across the water in Canada. A variety of other jazz musicians made use of this name for ensembles in this and subsequent decades.

In the late '20s Moore joined Billy Minor's Melodians for three years followed by one of his major affiliations, McKinney's Cotton Pickers. This was also a three-year stint but turned into something of an eternity in terms of the amount of time jazz researchers wanted to devote to it in later years. Writers such as Jim Gallert were certainly thrilled to be able to pick Moore's brains when working on projects such as a history of the Detroit jazz scene. The trumpeter's career hardly ended in the '30s, however: he led his own band once again in the following decade and managed to keep the combo together in some form well into the '70s. He also performed with the Gabriel Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band.