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Howard McGhee was an intricate part of the Bebop movement but is hardly ever mentioned. Dizzy gets most of the recognition but McGhee along with Fats Navarro and Idrees Sulieman were equally as important. They were all a strong influence to the Hard Bop trumpeters that came afterwards. Miles was, of course, was a great part of the Bebop era but entered into the picture a few years later. As you will read later on below, McGhee was an absentee in the 50’s because of drug problems and missed most of the Hard Bop era but came back in the early 60’s. Maggie’s Back in Town!! was the first of his first return album was recorded in 1961. It will be featured here on Jazz Con Class so the listeners can learn more of how great McGhee was. There’s no way to avoid noticing how much influenced he had on the greats that came up in the early 50’s, enjoy!

About the album:

Trumpeter Howard McGhee, after spending much of the 1950s only partly active in music (due to drug problems), made a full-fledged comeback in the early ’60s only to find his bop-oriented music out of fashion. This Contemporary set (reissued on CD in the OJC series) was McGhee’s finest recording of the period, a quartet outing with brilliant pianist Phineas Newborn, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Shelly Manne. Although tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards is not on the date, two of his compositions (his famous “Sunset Eyes” and a tribute to the trumpeter…..Read More

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Howard McGhee biography:

6 March 1918, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, d. 17 July 1987, New York City, New York, USA. During the late 30s, McGhee played trumpet in several territory bands in the Midwest before moving to Detroit, where he became well known in that city’s lively jazz scene. He first enjoyed major success with Lionel Hampton in 1941; however, he quickly moved on, joining Andy Kirk, for whom he wrote arrangements and was featured soloist. Although he was to work in other big bands of the early 40s, including Charlie Barnet’s and Georgie Auld’s, McGhee soon became most closely associated with bebop. From the mid-40s he could be heard playing in clubs and on records with Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and others. He was present on the notorious Parker recording session for Dial Records that produced ‘Lover Man’ and was, in fact, largely responsible for salvaging the session from potential disaster when Parker broke down…..Read More

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