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Ruben Reeves

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At one point in the late '20s, Reuben Reeves was one of the more exciting trumpeters in jazz, although his star soon faded. After playing locally in the Midwest, he moved to New York in 1924. The following year, Reeves relocated to Chicago, and in 1926 he became a member of Erskine Tate's orchestra. He recorded with Fess Williams and worked with Dave Peyton during 1928-1930, but most importantly led a series of record dates in 1929 with his Tributaries and his River Boys; sidemen included his brother Gerald Reeves on trombone and the great clarinetist Omer Simeon. Reuben Reeves had a wild extroverted style that was a little bit like what Roy Eldridge would develop a few years later. Reeves was with Cab Calloway's orchestra during 1931-1932, and then in 1933 returned to Chicago and organized his River Boys for one final session. He toured with his own group during 1933-1935, freelanced for a few years, served with the Army during World War II (leading an Army band), and then joined Harry Dial's Blusicians in 1946. His last few years were largely spent outside of music. An RST CD has all of Reuben Reeves' recordings as a leader.

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October 25, 1905 in Evansville, IN

Years Active:

'20s, '30s, '40s