Yesterday, hidden among the jazz birthdays one of the many names I didn’t recognize wad Harry “Sweets” Edison. (October 10, 1915 – July 27, 1999) After reading his biography at All About Jazz I realized that while I never knew his name, I most likely heard him play, From All About Jazz.
Harry “Sweets” Edison is one of the few players in the history of jazz trumpet who could be instantly identified after only a few notes; along with Bobby Hackett, he was acknowledged as one of the few master trumpet accompanists….. ….In 1952, Edison moved to California, where he established himself as a stalwart studio musician and first call trumpet soloist for the influential arranger Nelson Riddle. He would record with Sinatra for six years, and fill similar roles on recordings Bing Crosby, Billy Daniels, Nat Cole, Margaret Whiting, Jerry Lewis and Ella Fitzgerald, and played on many film soundtracks. (His commercial work and the studio pension system provided him $800 a week for the rest of his life, giving him a great deal of prosperity later in life.)….. …Edison taught music seminars at Yale University and was honoured as a ‘master musician’ in 1991 with a National Endowment for the Arts Award at the Kennedy Center. Read More
After reading the above, I started thinking that being a great accompanist may be harder than playing solo. The blending of the instrument and the voice must be more difficult!! Here’s Harry performing one of my favorite jazz classics “Willow Weep for Me”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard ot played more “Sweetly”. So Harry, my hat’s off to you, man! And Happy Belated Birthday” Hope it was a great day with the Count, Dizzy and all the boys!!