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Hey Doc (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions (Paris & Toulouse, France 1975))

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Album Review

Doc Cheatham maintained a strong sound on trumpet into his nineties; this series of French studio sessions dates from May 1975, just prior to his 70th birthday. The veteran is accompanied by veteran drummer J.C. Heard and pianist Sammy Price, while the rest of the supporting cast, including trombonist Gene Conners, alto saxophonist Ted Buckner, and bassist Carl Pruitt are less widely known but solid performers. The group's superb interplay is fascinating within the swinging opener, "Rosetta," while the mediocre quality of the piano tuning somewhat mars an otherwise enjoyable "Blues in My Heart." In addition to his fine trumpet playing throughout the CD, he sings in a warm, friendly voice during the tender ballad "If I Could Be With You" and a sprightly "What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry?" Fans of swing trumpet will definitely want to search for this rewarding CD.


Born: 13 June 1905 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Doc Cheatham was without question the greatest 90-year old trumpeter of all time; in fact, no brass player over the age of 80 had ever played with his power, range, confidence, and melodic creativity. Most trumpeters fade while in their 60s due to the physical difficulty of their instrument, but Cheatham did not truly find himself as a soloist until he was nearly 70. Doc Cheatham's career reaches back to the early '20s, when he played in vaudeville theaters backing such traveling singers as Bessie...
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Hey Doc (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions (Paris & Toulouse, France 1975)), Doc Cheatham
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