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Charlie Shavers

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 muted. 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

NEWS: RECORDING

Charlie Shavers: Blue Stompin'

Charlie Shavers: Blue Stompin'

I like measuring jazz trumpeters on the heat scale. Imagine Chet Baker and Bix Beiderbecke all the way over on the cool left end and guys like Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw on the other end. You can almost plot all trumpeters along this line. In the case of Charlie Shavers, I'd probably put him to ...

NEWS: PERFORMANCE / TOUR

Hot jazz in every sense

Hot jazz in every sense

Trumpeter and singer Bria Skonberg, a British Columbia native now making her mark on the New York jazz scene, brought her talents and charm to Southwest Florida on Sunday, March 8. She performed at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Sarasota in a South County Jazz Club concert. Skonberg, whose music is rooted in traditional jazz ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Video: Cafe Montmartre, '59-'76

Video: Cafe Montmartre, '59-'76

Oscar Pettiford was one of the great jazz bassists on the New York recording scene in the 1940s and '50s. Sadly, his name today is slipping into obscurity. In 1958, Pettiford moved to Copenhagen, where he died in 1960 at age 37. He was the first to play jazz cello in 1949, and few could match ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra: Book Of Rhapsodies

Read "Book Of Rhapsodies" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If you were to identify the music from Book Of Rhapsodies as cartoon music and asked to name specifically which cartoons, it might be easy to guess your age. The baby-boom generations would call bandleader Brian Carpenter's music the soundtrack to Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam and might guess Carl Stalling. X-Generation would identify the soundtrack ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Doug Mettome: A Brief Life in Bop

Read "Doug Mettome: A Brief Life in Bop" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Douglas (Doug) Voll Mettome, the son of Nels P Mettome and Leafy Dawn Mettome was born into a prosperous family on March 19, 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he died on February 17, 1964. He was one of two children (a younger sister attended Northwestern University). Doug's musical career began early. His ...

NEWS: RADIO

Riffs And Shouts This Week On Riverwalk Jazz

Riffs And Shouts This Week On Riverwalk Jazz

p>This week on Riverwalk Jazz, The Jim Cullum Jazz Band uses simple, familiar riffs to build entire arrangements and tunes—from originals like “Keep Off the Grass” to standards like “Dinah.” Special guest Bob Barnard joins the band on trumpet. The program is distributed in the US by Public Radio International, on Sirius/XM satellite radio and can ...

NEWS: RADIO

Class Of 39: Lindy Hopping Down The Yellow Brick Road

Class Of 39: Lindy Hopping Down The Yellow Brick Road

A decade after the crash that caused the Great Depression, Americans were eager to embrace a new sense of hope. In 1939, some of the best movies and pop songs of all time lightened the load for the 17.2 % of the population still without a job. This week on Riverwalk Jazz, performances by guest artists ...

Don Redman: Setting the Template

Read "Don Redman: Setting the Template" reviewed by Jim Gerard

As someone who came to jazz as a young man in the 1970s, I can attest that subsequent generations of both its chroniclers and, even sadder, its practitioners, have succumbed to the peculiarly and regrettable American disease of a-historicism. They've shoved jazz history through a sieve, reducing it from an epic tale of heroic ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Ambrose Akinmusire: Emerging Heart

Read "Ambrose Akinmusire: Emerging Heart" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

"My favorite instrument is the cello," said the easygoing young musician in early February, from his apartment in Manhattan, where he referred to himself jokingly as “a hibernating jazzman." His West-Coast roots weren't taking a firm grip in the frigid temperatures of the Northeast. “Me and strings just don't get along. I can play piano; I ...


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