Roy Eldridge in Greasy's, Harlem - early 20th Century

from Jazz Anecdotes, page 98:

So we went down there, and I don't know how the word got around, but before you know it, that joint was packed. There was Gus Aikens and Red Allen, and some other trumpet player, and we started to play. All of Fletcher’s cats were in there. They could really load up a cat.

“Roy? Shit, he ain’t playin’ nothin’! Go get him!” And then when I’d play,

“Yeah, Little Jazz, yeah!”

So he got bigger and bigger, and I made a mistake by coming in on his chorus. I screamed at G and the whole house fell out. He didn't let them other cats in; he jumped and caught my ass. Hit a B-flat, and I ain’t never heard a B-flat that high and that loud and big, in my life! I start feelin’ around on my horn to see what it is. I said’ “oh-oh.” I took my horn and put it in the case. I told the cats, “You can't play as high as him. Might as well give it up!” I had tears in my eyes.

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cite as

Bill Crow, Jazz Anecdotes (New York, 1990), p. 98. accessed: 25 July, 2024

location of experience: Greasy's, Harlem


Listening to

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jazz cutting contest performed by Fletcher Henderson Jazz Band, Gus Aitkens, Roy Eldridge, Harley "Red" Allen

Experience Information

Date/Time early 20th Century
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public

Originally submitted by Gorwel Owen on Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:09:05 +0100
Approved on Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:54:37 +0100