Charlie Shavers (Trumpet)
Tommy Dorsey once dubbed Charlie Shavers ‘the greatest trumpeter of them al’, a view that this generous survey of his remarkable career does much to endorse. The 46 tracks display the sheer range of his abilities. His earliest, often muted, playing with the bands of such as Jimmie Noone, Johnny Dodds and his breakthrough with John Kirby’s sextet at a surprisingly young age (also composing and arranging) are well represented – including of course his classic Undecided. He then spent years adding a spectacular element to Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra (singing too!), as well as testing his abilities in many other settings such as the famous Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts. From the mid-50s he mostly recorded under his own leadership, and disc 2 offers plentiful examples of his 1954 Sextet (including his extraordinary impersonations of other jazz trumpeters in Story Of The Jazz Trumpet), the beautiful 1955 sessions with Sy Oliver’s orchestra – his personal favourite of all his output – and 10 tracks with his 1959/60 Quartet alongside pianist Ray Bryant that present a comprehensive display of a technique unsurpassed in all jazz.