The Fats Navarro Story

The Fats Navarro Story

by Fats Navarro


1 New & Used Starting at $19.32


Bebop trumpet genius Fats Navarro only lived to the age of 26. During that time he left behind a slew of recordings with numerous bands and vocalists for a number of labels. Proper, a British compilation label, has attempted to assemble four CDs of music from what it perceives to be Navarro's four major periods, in order to reveal the trumpeter's development not only as a soloist, but as a bandleader. And Proper did it for little more than the price of one CD. Navarro was a force so pervasive and influential that his only equals during his lifetime were Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown. The first disc, Bebop Boys, showcases Navarro's emerging place in the company of great bands such as the short-lived but ridiculously influential Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra, where he replaced Dizzy Gillespie. Some of the personnel on these sides include Sarah Vaughan, Art Blakey, Gene Ammons, and Tommy Potter; "Air Mail Special" and "Don't Blame Me" from these sessions were arranged by Tadd Dameron. The sound quality varies only slightly. By and large they sound better than the material issued by National or Blue Note. Later sessions include bands called the Bebop Boys with Kenny Dorham, Kenny Clarke, and Sonny Stitt. The set closes with a couple of tracks from Savoy with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis as a leader and two from Sonora with Coleman Hawkins fronting the band. Literally, there isn't anything on this disc that is not first-rate. The second CD, Nostalgia, focuses on Navarro's work with Coleman Hawkins and Lockjaw Davis from sessions late in 1946 recorded for Savoy. Also represented are Navarro's first sessions as a leader with his Thin Men; a quartet with Ernie Henry, Tadd Dameron, and others; and Dameron's sextet. Most of the material is from Savoy, but there are also tracks cut for Alladin (with Illinois Jacquet & Big Band), Counterpoint, and Blue Note. So many name players are featured on this disc that it's impossible to mention them all, but some include Charlie Rouse, Shadow Wilson, Charlie Ventura, Allen Eager, and many more. The masters have been cleaned up considerably, and the sound, for the most part, is very good (better than any of this material has been presented previously). Discs three and four, entitled At the Royal Roost and Double Talk, respectively, pinpoint Navarro's emerging place -- despite a huge heroin habit -- in the new music of bebop, primarily in a band with Hawkins (that also included Max Roach and J.J. Johnson), a Benny Goodman sextet, and with Dameron. On disc three, all but four sides come from the Jazzland label; the rest are from Capitol and Blue Note. The final set is from primarily Navarro-led groups and were recorded for Dial, Blue Note, Victor, Capitol, and Prestige, with two single cuts being on fly-by-night labels like Ozone and Grotto. The material on all these sides is the canon from which bebop was created, including everything from Navarro's own unique read of "Night in Tunisia" to his blistering break on "52nd Street Theme," the glorious ostinato on "Bud's Bounce," and the dizzying glissando on "Yardbird Suite." Even the ballad playing and swing numbers, where Navarro is playing behind vocalists, are startling for their full tone and unusual phrasing for a soloist in swing bands. In sum, this is the Fats Navarro story, told through the sounds and styles of his era, a crucial time in the history of jazz. This is a box set with accurate, even voluminous documentation; it's a well-designed package for a deep budget price and is long overdue.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/13/2001
Label: Proper Box Uk
UPC: 0604988991123
catalogNumber: 11

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fats Navarro   Primary Artist,Trumpet
Bill Doggett   Piano
Gene Ammons   Tenor Saxophone
Billy Bauer   Guitar
Earl Coleman   Vocals
Tadd Dameron   Piano
Miles Davis   Trumpet
Buddy DeFranco   Clarinet
Kenny Dorham   Trumpet
Allen Eager   Tenor Saxophone
Billy Eckstine   Vocals
Dizzy Gillespie   Trumpet
Benny Goodman   Clarinet
Dexter Gordon   Tenor Saxophone
Wardell Gray   Tenor Saxophone
Haig   Piano
Bill Harris   Trombone
Ernie Henry   Alto Saxophone
Milt Jackson   Vibes
Illinois Jacquet   Tenor Saxophone
Budd Johnson   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Hank Jones   Piano
Mundell Lowe   Guitar
Shelly Manne   Drums
Joe Newman   Trumpet
Leo Parker   Bass Saxophone
Cecil Payne   Bass Saxophone
Bud Powell   Piano
Buddy Rich   Drums
Max Roach   Drums
Sonny Rollins   Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Rouse   Tenor Saxophone
Sonny Stitt   Alto Saxophone
Lennie Tristano   Piano
Charlie Ventura   Tenor Saxophone
Ralph Burns   Piano
Linton Garner   Piano
Chubby Jackson   Bass
Don Lanphere   Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Potter   Bass
Chuck Wayne   Guitar
Howard McGhee   Piano,Trumpet
Coleman Hawkins   Tenor Saxophone
Chano Pozo   Bongos
Norris Turney   Alto Saxophone
Rudy Williams   Alto Saxophone
Gene Ramey   Bass
Eddie Safranski   Bass
Ray Abrams   Tenor Saxophone
Taswell Baird   Trombone
Denzil Best   Drums
Art Blakey   Drums
Nelson Boyd   Bass
Gail Brockman   Trumpet
Ernie Caceres   Bass Saxophone
Kenny Clarke   Drums
John Collins   Guitar
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis   Tenor Saxophone
Eddie de Verteuill   Bass Saxophone
Gene DiNovi   Piano
Bill Frazier   Alto Saxophone
Jim Golden   Piano
Hall   Bass
Roy Haynes   Drums
Boonie Hazel   Trumpet
Josh Jackson   Tenor Saxophone
J.J. Johnson   Trombone
Jimmy Johnson   Bass
Ted Kelly   Trombone
Porter Kilbert   Alto Saxophone
Morris Lane   Tenor Saxophone
Jack Lesberg   Bass
Clyde Lombardi   Bass
John Malachi   Piano
Art Mardigan   Drums
Shorty McConnell   Trumpet
George Nicholas   Tenor Saxophone
Chips Outcalt   Trombone
Charlie Parker   Alto Saxophone
Ray Perry   Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Powell   Alto Saxophone
Eli Robinson   Trombone
Curly Russell   Bass
Sarah Vaughan   Vocals
Howard Scott   Trombone
Sahib Shihab   Alto Saxophone
Gerald Valentine   Trombone
Connie Wainwright   Guitar
Dicky Wells   Trombone
Shadow Wilson   Drums
Kai Winding   Trombone
Mel Zelnick   Drums
Lucas   Bass
Gus Chappell   Trombone
Raymond Orr   Trumpet
Walter Knox   Trombone
Kay Penton   Vocals
Marion Deveta   Bass Saxophone
Bill McMahon   Bass
John Cobbs   Alto Saxophone
Valente   Guitar
Huey Long   Guitar
Casey   Guitar
Richard Ellington   Piano
Diego Ibarra   Bongos
Marion Hazel   Trumpet
John Jackson   Alto Saxophone
TEddy Cypron   Bass Saxophone
Arthur Simmons   Tenor Saxophone
Vidal Bolado   Conga

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Tadd Dameron   Arranger
Billy Eckstine   Composer
Gil Fuller   Composer
Dizzy Gillespie   Composer
Fats Navarro   Composer
Leo Parker   Composer
Bud Powell   Composer
Sonny Stitt   Composer
Charlie Ventura   Composer
Don Lanphere   Composer
Pete Rugolo   Arranger
Dennis Sandole   Composer
Vincent Youmans   Composer
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis   Composer
Walter Fuller   Arranger
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Earl Hardy   Composer
John Malachi   Arranger
Frank Paparelli   Composer
Charlie Parker   Composer
Gerald Valentine   Arranger,Composer
Edward Eliscu   Composer
Joop Visser   Producer,Liner Notes
Billy Rose   Composer
Herman Hupfeld   Composer

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The Fats Navarro Story 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Theodore ''Fats'' Navarro was only 26 years old when he died in 1950, but the jazz trumpeter accomplished much in a recording career that lasted just five years. Navarro was arguably the second great trumpeter to emerge from the bebop movement, whose controlled yet lyrical style was a marked alternative to the more flamboyant Dizzy Gillespie. Most of Navarro's recordings have been available in the last few decades; he did the bulk of his recording for Blue Note and Savoy, both as a leader and a sideman. But there has never been a career-spanning retrospective, at least until now. Proper Records, an English label, has issued this fine four CD set, which features excellent sound and a terrific booklet. What makes this set special is that it traces Navarro from his days with Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra to his early solo sides for Savoy, then on to his groundbreaking work with bandleader/composer/arranger Tadd Dameron, fiery trumpet duels with Kenny Dorham and, finally, to his final recordings with Charlie Parker, a mere week before his death from tuberculosis, apparently exacerbated by heroin use. Seldom has the development of a musician been better traced and, in particular, his work with Dameron sounds better than ever. Also included are a few rare and seldom reissued sessions that demonstrate Navarro's flair as an accompaniest for vocalists. Fats Navarro's greatest legacy may be his influence on such later trumpeters as Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard; it is worth noting that these three major figures looked towrds Navarro rather than Gillespie for much of their style. ''The Fats Navarro Story'' is an essential purchase for fans of bebop, and this box set should go far in getting Navarro the recognition he deserves.