Roy Eldridge - I remember Harlem

In the early 1950s Benny Goodman asked Roy Eldridge to join his sextet for a European tour, providing him with his first opportunity to go overseas. In Paris he made some records with Zoot Sims, Dick Hyman and Ed Shaugnessy (see IC 7002). Eldridge picked up French, largely though necessity, playing in clubs around the city. After a few months, he was singing and writing in French, and expressing his affection for lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise in Une Petite Laitue.

With its inclusion of his French songs, this collection is an unusually broad display of the range of Roy's talents. In addition to the crackling brilliance of his trumpet playing and his warm, open singing, he is heard in some trumpet and piano duets, and in some piano solos. Except for Fats Waller's "Black and Blue," all the numbers by this group are Eldridge compositions, ranging from the gorgeously atmospheric, brooding tone of "I Remember Harlem," to the "L'Isle Adam," which is actually "Swing Is Here." The other basic group on this disc -- a quintet including Don Byas -- was formed to back up Roy on a film short called Autour d'une Trompette.

The piano and trumpet duets with Claude Bolling were made on a different day. Bolling at this time was 20 years old but already strongly influenced by Earl Hines and Duke Ellington. Roy had played with him frequently at the Club St. Germain-des-Pres. An album no jazz fan will want to miss!

SKU: IC7012

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I Remember Harlem Baby Don't Do Me Like That Une Petite Laitue Une Petite Laitue L'Isle Adam Black and Blue Tu Disais Que Tu M'Aimais Oh Shut Up Hollywood Pastime I'd Love Him So The Heat Is On (Très Chaud) Wild Man Blues Fireworks Just Fooling List Blues Improvisation

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Roy Eldridge
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Don Byas, Claude Bolling
SKU IC7012


Customer Reviews (3)

"Parisian Cooking"Review by Big Toots
IC702 I Remember Harlem Roy Eldridge

If there was such a thing as a hair-trigger tempered jazzers Hall of Fame, Roy Eldridge would be in its most honored wing, perhaps in the proximity of Buddy Rich. That’s because Roy could be as insanely competitive and feisty as they come. And, that fire spewed forth from his trumpet – and also his mouth as he was expelled from high school - from his first days on the horn. We hear a “hornucopia” of that flame – and more - in this magnificent Eldridge retrospective which was recorded in Paris in 1950.

A man possessed of as many talents as hot-buttons, Eldridge is heard here performing brilliantly with various ensemble formats – with a quintet, a small-big band, and in a duo with Claude Bolling on piano. Eldridge’s abilities also spin off a fine piano solo (“Improvisation”) and vocals in the local tongue. Across all of this and on trumpet especially, Eldridge is a demon possessed by swingin’ devils (and some ghosting from Louis Armstrong).

Eldridge’s gargantuan trumpet tone is on vivid display right off the bat on his deeply blue and rather ominously droning original, “I Remember Harlem.” However, the swing party jumps and jives immediately thereafter with “Little Jazz” bringing on the big voice and upper register fireworks (“Baby Don’t Do Me Like That,” “L’Isle Adam,””Black and Blue”). No wallflower when it came to onstage hi-jinks, Eldridge does some neat Gallic vocalizing and scatting, too (“Une Petit Latiue”).

Virtually all of the selections here are Eldridge compositions, each of which is drenched with “Swing” trademarks – driving “all-four” rhythmic underpinnings, highly-syncopated melodies and shadings of an earlier day in Jazz (“Oh Shut Up”). The various ensembles provide solid rhythmic support for all that transpires above. However, this is Eldridge’s show all around, no doubt ‘bout.

While this outstanding recording suggests Roy’s reminiscing about Harlem, after a listen or two, you’ll certainly always remember him in Paris.
(Posted on 5/24/2015)
Roy Eldridge: I Remember HarlemReview by Simon Sez
One of the most competitive jazz musicians ever, Roy Eldridge played every chorus as if his life depended on it, giving it everything he had. He always seemed to be close to going over the top in his playing, putting so much emotion and fire into every note. Even when he missed a note, he was spectacular and certainly never dull.
I Remember Harlem has a lot of really fascinating music with lots of surprises. Roy Eldridge is heard on the only piano solos that he ever recorded (not sounding bad), he sings pretty decently on a few numbers, and he pays tribute to Louis Armstrong of the late 1920s on a pair of duets with pianist Claude Bolling. Roy is typically explosive in his matchups with Don Byas including on “Oh Shut Up.” Roy Eldridge shows that when it came to playing with fire, no one could keep up with him. This is a great set.

Simon Sez: Roy Eldridge on I Remember Harlem (IC7012) sings a bit, takes three piano solos, pays tribute to Satchmo and is explosive throughout.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)
Review by Scott Yanow
This CD features Roy Eldridge in generally superb form. Recorded during his visit to Paris with the Benny Goodman Sextet, the well-rounded set finds him a dominant force on seven selections (six of which are his compositions) with a French septet. In addition, Eldridge is heard in an exciting quintet with tenor saxophonist Don Byas (the trumpeter's "Oh Shut Up" is based on the chords of "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone"), Eldridge and Claude Bolling perform "Wild Man Blues" and "Fireworks" as duets reminiscent of the interplay of Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines, and Eldridge even takes three loose but fun piano solos. (Posted on 6/14/2013)

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