Recorded by HOWARD McGHEE & FATS NAVARRO on THE FABULOUS FATS NAVARRO, Vol.2
Blue Note: CDP 7 81532 2 / Recorded October 11, 1948
FATS NAVARRO and HOWARD McGHEE, two original bebop trumpet giants, co-composed this piece for a session of bebop all-stars. You can also hear two giants of a later generation, Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard, on their own recording of this trumpet players' tour de force. This piece makes a great feature for the front line.
1st part: Trumpet, Alto Sax, C treble clef
2nd part: Trumpet, Alto Sax, C treble clef
3rd part: Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, C treble clef
Rhythm Section: Piano, Bass, Drums, Guitar
This show piece is a great vehicle for introducing a technically-proficient front line to some classic bebop vocabulary. Some of the lines are technically demanding but they lie well on all the horns and the final product is well worth the effort.
SOLOS: These changes are full of II-Vs in cmfortable keys and are a great way for less experienced improvisers to play over classic bebop changes and for more experienced players who want to step beyond just making the changes.
Freddie Hubbard & Woody Shaw/Double Take (Blue Note CDP 7 46294 2)
HOWARD McGHEE (1918-1987) "Maggie" was one of the top bebop trumpeters, along with Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro, from 1945-49. In the early Forties, he played in bands led by Andy Kirk (his sectionmate was Navarro), Charlie Barnet, and Count Basie. During this time, he was also an integral part of the Minton's bebop laboratory. In his prime years, he made several landmark recordings in California with Coleman Hawkins and Charlie Parker. He later recorded with Navarro, including the classic "Boperation," as well as leading dates on Dial and Savoy. Downbeat named him the best trumpeter of 1949. Unfortunately, his fortunes soon faded thereafter, and McGhee was largely off the scene in the Fifties, with only sporadic bursts of activity in the Sixties and Seventies.
FATS NAVARRO (1923-1950) One of Jazz's all-time greatest trumpeters, Theodore "Fats" Navarro, had a brilliant but all too brief career. Fats' apprenticeship included stints with Andy Kirk (playing alongside Howard McGhee) and Billy Eckstine, where he replaced Dizzy Gillespie. During his brief peak years of 1946-49, he was Gillespie's rival as the premier bebop trumpeter. His style, more lyrical and with a broader tone than Gillespie's, was a major influence on Clifford Brown and, indirectly, such trumpet greats as Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. Although he co-led some important sessions with McGhee (including the bop anthem Boperation), he made historic recordings with Tadd Dameron and was a star sideman in groups led by other bebop legends, including Kenny Clarke, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell and Charlie Parker before dying of tuberculosis at 26.
Fats Navarro, co-composer of "Boperation" and one of the greatest jazz trumpeters ever, is buried in an unmarked grave. His daughter Linda is planning to mark the site with a headstone, and also organize a dedication and installation ceremony. Any help with this project will be greatly appreciated.
Make your tax deductible donation payable to the FATS NAVARRO MEMORIAL FUND. Mail check or money order to Linda Navarro, 814 30th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. More information about the project and about Fats can be found at http://csis.pace.edu/~varden/navarro/navarro.html
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