Friday, September 28, 2012

Maggie and Fats: Binary Stars

After looking at Fats Navarro, Howard McGhee is a reasonable next post.
Magee with Miles looking on
We'll use his nickname: Maggie. He was about 5 years older than Fats and despite also dealing with addiction, lived a lot longer (1918-1987). They were stylistic brothers and their paths crossed often. They both had the power and range to play lead and could masterfully handle bop chord changes. They were the godfathers of the fiery 1950's lineage of the trumpet; more so than Diz or Miles.

Here's Howard early on, 1942, with Andy Kirk & His Clouds of Joy playing "McGhee Special." It's strong playing, in the bravura swing-to-bop vein.


This 1945 track retains some of the R&B/jump/jive strain that Hampton and others were bringing upfront, but infused with Bird and Diz's new harmonic (and to some extent rhythmic) developments.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fats Navarro-An Appreciation-w. a New Track.

[Thanks to a friend, there are now 2 more clips that I can add to this post. I'll put one right here at the top and the other in the Twin Binary Stars post above. Enjoy them first, then read ahead, if you haven't already.

Here he is in 1945, with Eckstine, on the ballad "Long, Long Journey." solo at the end.



Today's the birthday of Fats Navarro, jazz trumpet hero (1923-1950).

A quick timeline has him growing up in Florida; after high school, hooking in to Snookum Russell's territory band in Indianapolis, joining Andy Kirk in Kansas City and ending up in NYC.
I think that's Fats in the middle of Snookum's tpt. section