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Don Lanphere's career can easily be divided into two periods with a long interlude in between. He came to New York when he was 19 and made some impressive recordings with Fats Navarro in 1949, keeping up with the fiery trumpeter. Lanphere played with Woody Herman's Second Herd (1949), Artie Shaw, and the big bands of Claude Thornhill, Charlie Barnet, and Billy May. Unfortunately, drug use soon resulted in his arrest and much of 1951-1981 found Lanphere either running the family music store in Washington or out of music altogether. An exception was his stint with Woody Herman during 1959-1961. However, Don Lanphere beat the odds, kicked drugs, and made a full comeback starting in 1982. He recorded regularly for Hep, developed his style (doubling on soprano), and become a major if somewhat underrated improviser. Lanphere continued to record until his death October 10, 2003. ~ Scott Yanow
Donald Gale Lanphere
26 June 1928 in Wenatchee, WA
'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s