Charlie Shavers was one of the greatest trumpeters of all time. He gained early recognition as a teenager in the late 1930s playing with the John Kirby Sextet, an important cool-jazz group that was the Modern Jazz Quartet of its time. He had a long-term association with Tommy Dorsey that both helped and hurt him, assisting him financially but damaging his cutting-edge credibility by relegating his talents to nostalgic swing material. However, Shavers’ real legacy includes his projects away from TD, including defeating Roy Eldridge in trumpet battles with Jazz at the Philharmonic, freelance dates and his own infrequent sessions.
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