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Roy Eldridge

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Roy Eldridge


Bop was not created from nothing; it was an extension of existing developments in Swing. And trumpet virtuoso Roy Eldridge was a key player in the transition. Eldridge began his career in Chicago in the 1920s, playing in carnival, circus and dance bands. In 1931, he moved to New York City and joined the big band circuit. Four years later, he started his own big band, which toured and recorded for the next ten years. Eldridge's dazzlingly bright tone and enormous range made him an exceptional soloist, and his phrasing possessed a dramatic flair that secured his position as a trumpet star. His pyrotechnic playing pointed the way towards Bop, inspiring a young trumpeter named Dizzy Gillespie. In the late 1940s, Eldridge began touring and recording with small groups as well, collaborating with Gillespie in 1954. He retired in 1981.
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