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The Trumpet
have endured for many years as a giant among jazz trumpets, as could Bubber Miley, whose "growl" specialties in the Ellington band preceded Cootie Williams* better-known incumbency in that chair. Muggsy Spanier, one of the first trumpeters to gaze enraptured at every Armstrong bandstand, evolved a style that made effective use of the plunger while retaining some of the qualities of both Armstrong and the white Dixielanders; Jimmy McPartland, following Bix in the Wolverines, inherited his mantle and still brings Bix back to life today.
Red Allen, playing during the period 1929-34 with the Luis Russell and Fletcher Henderson bands, was probably the first trumpet player to escape from the sometimes stultifying effects of symmetry, of phrasing in terms of one or two bars at a time. Aliens longer melodic lines, mosquito-like tone and narrower vibrato opened up a new road, one that was followed during the 1930s by such bearers of even newer tidings as Roy Eldridge, Buck Clayton and Charlie Shavers.
Eldridge, whose primary era of influence was 1935-42 (in person with Teddy Hill, Fletcher Henderson, his own band and Gene Krupa; on records with*Teddy Wilson, Billie Holiday and Mildred Bailey) brought to jazz a quixotic, loosely-phrased style; a tone that might be called bright gray, a little akin to Allen's; and an approach that showed, especially at slower tempi, the ubiquitous imprint of Armstrong. Clayton, prominent in the Basie band from 1935-43, showed a less volatile and smoother approach than Eldridge, characterized mainly by his wider and well-controlled vibrato and frequent use, to superb effect, of the cup mute. Like Eldridge, he was a frequent visitor to the Teddy Wilson-Billie Holiday record sessions that were an exciting component of New York jazz in the late 1930s.
Charlie Shavers probably has combined in one style a greater variety of qualities-good and bad but never indifferent-than any other trumpet personality. Mainly known as the sparkplug of the John Kirby band from 1938-44, he remained an important influence for several years during his sporadic association with Tommy Dorsey. Shavers' attributes include a darting, leaping range that throws high notes as a fighter throws sneak punches, a clear and personal sound, with sentimental overtones on slower