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Album Review

Trumpeter Fats Navarro's reign in jazz was short lived. He died in 1950 at a young age due to living the Charlie Parker lifestyle. In the short period that he made records as a leader in the late '40s, it was obvious had he not burned out, he was on his way to legendary status. Along with Dizzy Gillespie, Navarro was the premiere bebop trumpet innovator, influencing Clifford Brown and everyone who followed him. These recordings captured on Classics #1108 from 1947-1949 highlight Navarro (or Fat Girl as he was often referred) at his height. Navarro leads combos on these sessions (some live) that include Tadd Dameron, Charlie Ventura, Charlie Rouse, Buddy Rich, and Art Blakey. Navarro is also heard on four cuts backing up vocalist Earl Coleman and his all-stars with drummer Max Roach.


Born: September 24, 1923 in Key West, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s

One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Fats Navarro had a tragically brief career yet his influence is still being felt. His fat sound combined aspects of Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Dizzy Gillespie, became the main inspiration for Clifford Brown, and through Brownie greatly affected the tones and styles of Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Woody Shaw. Navarro originally played piano and tenor before switching to trumpet. He started gigging with dance bands when he was 17, was with...
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