Fats Navarro- The things we did last summer (1949)
Fats Navarro (tp), Hank Jones (p), Ray Brown (b), Shelly Manne (ds)
recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York City, November 2, 1949
The tragically short life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro belies his creative contribution to jazz history. Originally from Key West, Florida, where he was born Sept. 24, 1923, Navarro, whose nickname was “Fat Girl” (also the name of one of his tunes), got his first gig of note with the Andy Kirk band in 1943-’44. In 1945, on Gillespie’s recommendation, Navarro replaced Diz in Billy Eckstine’s seminal bebop big band. The trumpeter stayed with Eckstine for a year-and-a-half, establishing himself as one of the premier soloists of the bop movement. His flawless execution of even runs of eighth notes, clarity of attack and classic, full tone on recordings with the pioneers of bop—Kenny Clarke, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker and others—paved the way for the harmonically sophisticated but less rhythmically frenetic style of the 1950s.
In the late 1940s, Navarro worked with Illinois Jacquet, Coleman Hawkins, Lionel Hampton and Tadd Dameron. A recording of “Stealin’ Apples,” with Benny Goodman, attracted attention, but his historic reputation rests on over 100 small group recordings he made from 1946-’50, which reflect a close study of Charlie Parker, whose difficult tune, “Koko,” he recorded with the Metronome Jazzmen in 1947. Other impressive solos can be heard on a 1949 Blue Note side with Powell on “Wail,” and “Our Delight,” in 1947, with Dameron.
Navarro was universally described by his contemporaries as a sweet and gentle man, dedicated to perfecting his craft. He died of tuberculosis, complicated by addiction to heroin, on July 7, 1950.
Also listen: Fats Navarro-Our Delight (1948)https://derlandstreicher.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/fats-navarro-our-delight-1948/