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Freddy Webster
Freddy Webster
Most often cited as an important influence on the young Miles Davis, the lyrically inclined Freddy Webster was also a favorite of Dizzy Gillespie, who called his trumpet sound "the best I ever heard." Webster led his own band while still in his teens. He played with Earl Hines and Erskine Hawkins in the late '30s then moved to New York, where he played under many top bandleaders during the '40s -- Benny Carter, Eddie Durham, Lucky Millinder, Jimmie Lunceford, Cab Calloway, John Kirby, Sonny Stitt, and Gillespie -- among them. In the year prior to his death, Webster also worked with impresario Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic. Webster's reputation as one of modern jazz's unsung heroes is given support by his very few recordings, notably on "You're Not the Kind" backing vocalist Sarah Vaughan. Other significant Webster recordings are two versions of his own tune, "Reverse the Charges," one with Sonny Boy Williams, and the other with Frank Socolow. Webster died at age 30 in Stitt's hotel room in Chicago. The official cause of death was a heart attack, but a heroin overdose has long been suspected. ~ Chris Kelsey, Rovi
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