Lee CollinsView in iTunes
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A talented early New Orleans trumpeter, Collins started out his career playing as a teenager in various brass bands, including the Young Eagles, the Columbia Band, and the Young Tuxedo Band. In 1924, Collins went to Chicago, where he was Louis Armstrong's replacement with King Oliver; he also recorded with Jelly Roll Morton. He returned to New Orleans and cut four brilliant sides with the Jones-Collins Astoria Hot Eight in 1929, played briefly in 1930 with Luis Russell in New York, and then went back to Chicago. Throughout the 1930s and '40s, Collins often accompanied blues singers and was a regular fixture in Chicago clubs. After touring Europe with Mezz Mezzrow in 1951 and 1954, he became ill and had to retire. His autobiography (Oh Didn't He Ramble) is filled with priceless stories about the early days of New Orleans jazz. ~ Scott Yanow