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Album Review

This CD reissue brings back a rare Swingville session that matches together the trumpets of Harold "Shorty" Baker and Doc Cheatham. At the time Baker, a veteran of Duke Ellington's Orchestra, was much better-known and his soft tone and lyrical style often takes honors on this blowing date with pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer J.C. Heard. For Doc Cheatham, then 55 and (unknown to everyone) only at the halfway mark of his career, this was just his second opportunity to lead a record date, 11 years after an obscure session in France. The results of this meeting are generally quite friendly rather than combative with Cheatham's Dixielandish phrasing sounding slightly old-fashioned next to Baker. They perform appealing swing-oriented material and sound fine in their many tradeoffs.


Born: May 26, 1914 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Harold "Shorty" Baker had a mellow sound and a lyrical style that was the modern successor to Arthur Whetsol in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Originally a drummer, Baker switched to trumpet as a teenager. A fine section player and a warm soloist, Baker played with Fate Marable on riverboats, Erskine Tate, Don Redman (1936-1938), Teddy Wilson's orchestra (1939-1940), and Andy Kirk (1940-1942). He married Mary Lou Williams (Kirk's pianist at the time). Baker was with Duke Ellington's Orchestra off...
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Shorty & Doc, Shorty Baker
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