Charlie Shavers was one of the great trumpeters to emerge
during the swing era, a virtuoso with an open-minded and
extroverted style along with a strong sense of humor. He
originally played piano and banjo before switching to
trumpet, and he developed very quickly.
In 1935, he was with Tiny Bradshaw's band and two years
later he joined Lucky Millinder's big band. Soon afterward he
became a key member of John Kirby's Sextet where he
showed his versatility by mostly playing crisp solos while
Shavers was in demand for recording sessions and
participated on notable dates with New Orleans jazz
pioneers Johnny Dodds, Jimmy Noone, and Sidney Bechet.
He also had many opportunities to write arrangements for
Kirby and had a major hit with his composition "Undecided."
After leaving Kirby in 1944, Shavers worked for a year with
Raymond Scott's CBS staff orchestra, and then was an
important part of Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra from 1945
until past TD's death in 1956.
Although well-featured, this association kept Shavers out of
the spotlight of jazz, but fortunately he did have occasional
vacations in which he recorded with the Metronome All-
Stars and toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic; at the
latter's concerts in 1953, Shaver's trumpet battles with Roy
Eldridge were quite exciting