Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Duke’s Sidemen – Cat Anderson

Here’s something that I have wanted to get out of my system for a while. After talking to another one of us music people (Music Enthusiast) who had just done an intensive 4 part take on Ray Charles (Check it out). The conversation led to Duke Ellington. It was prompted by a lead in Charles had used to open up his song ‘Sun’s Gonna Shine’. It reminded me of an Ellington tune where Rex Stewart blows his trumpet. One of those music things that has stuck with me for years.

So folks I’m pulling the trigger on this idea because it has so much coolness to it. Duke was blessed with some of the best talent that ever picked up an instrument. He wrote for specific musicians in his band and he shared the spotlight. They were leaders in their own right and some moved on from Ellington to form their own units but it was with Duke that they cut their teeth for the most part.

So I will be featuring a different Duke Ellington soloist periodically for the next while. Bear with me while I indulge. I know I will get lots of enjoyment out of it and I really do hope that you folks will too. It’s jazz but don’t let that scare you off. One of my reasons for doing it is to bring some extraordinary musicianship to you. Bracket the time and let the music move you. It never fails to do that for me. Enjoy some of my favorite listening. You might get hooked like I did. Listen to Ellington’s introduction. Take it away Duke.

First up is Cat Anderson on trumpet. An example of the kind of players Duke had in his great band. Good place to start. ‘Tippin and Whisperin’. Man does this swing. Anderson just nails this and the band supports him all the way. You can call it whatever you like but I’d say it is just some real good music played by one of the best bands ever. I Cant get enough of this stuff! Go Cat go.

33 comments on “Duke’s Sidemen – Cat Anderson

  1. BuriedOnMars
    December 20, 2020

    Great idea, CB! I need some direction in the sea of jazz.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 20, 2020

      Thanks Mars. All I can do is tell you what I dig. I’m sure you have some leads already (Ella)

      Like

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    December 20, 2020

    Great idea for a series of essays. Ellington’s bands over the years produced incredible music.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    December 20, 2020

    Thanks for the shoutout. I’ll give this a spin later today. My four-part Ray series, for the record, is up to part three. Fout should be posted today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1dancequeendq
    December 20, 2020

    Sublime

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim S.
    December 21, 2020

    Just listened. Boy is that good. Not familiar with Anderson at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 21, 2020

      Aint it. That’s the whole idea of the take. give folks a taste of musicians that get buried and shouldnt. I have a drum take coming up that will floor you. Why Bruford and Baker and those guys were in awe. Cat is music to my ears. I didnt a little reading up on him. Marsalis spoke highly. Also Doc, all these guys were characters. They spent years on the road and seen a lot of life. All sides.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        December 21, 2020

        I could not have done the musician lifestyle. Not by half

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 21, 2020

        Road warriors especially these guys. Burns touched on it a bit in Jazz. That Charles/Jackson thing has been spinning all day. Ray even picks up the alto for a turn.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        December 23, 2020

        Ray’s memoir is all about the road. In the early days they’d get down on their knees on the floor of the bus and play craps. Later when they were all working for Ray, sometimes he’d (under) pay them and win their wages back.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 23, 2020

        These were hard guys off the bandstand. There were a few in Dukes band I wouldnt have wanted to piss off. How about guys like Charlie Parker looking for a fix at some whistle stop in the Midwest.
        I dont know what’s going on with the Ray Charles thing but everywhere i turn people are into him right now. Did I miss something significant about him at this time of year.?

        Like

      • Jim S.
        December 23, 2020

        Must have read my series. Dunno. Sometimes you tune into something and then your antennae are up. BTW, my buddy Bill reminded me that Ray did the tune to ‘In the Heat of the Night,” a flick that CB reviewed a while back (and name-checked Ray)

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 23, 2020

        Love the film and Ray on the title song. I heard this when i was a kid. Talk about a perfect combo. Sets the feel even if your to young to know what’s going on.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. keepsmealive
    December 21, 2020

    Man you’re in my wheelhouse when you start talking about the horn players. That’s my jam, and this is a GREAT shout.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 21, 2020

      Thanks Books. I’ll see how far I can run this. So many great players (And characters) in Dukes band. I’m changing my name to “Cat”

      Like

      • keepsmealive
        December 21, 2020

        The Cincinnati Cat. I dig it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 21, 2020

        I like that. Books are you a horn player or just a big fan like me?
        Also, you got me in this vein also when we were discussing Basie vocalists. He had the same kind of players in his band. Smorg board of goodness.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        December 22, 2020

        Your insight serves you well. I was indeed a horn player, from 12 years old to, well, sometimes still today (yes I still have my horn, I’m a lifer). Though my left ear hurts at that brassy shrill now if I play without a mute. Ear doctor says it’s fine, after testing, but I don’t believe them. But yeah I always cheer for the horns because they are my people.

        I got you into this? Sir, you were in all along. You’ve always been in!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 22, 2020

        I love those self diagnosis. Sometimes we know our own bodies better than the pros.
        Another man of many talents. Cool. You would appreciate Cat getting some recognition. So many good players outside the ones who get the most love. Hard to not to love Louis but hey he would be the first to tip his hat to Cat. You horn guys stick together.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        December 22, 2020

        We absolutely will, and yeah, I know when my ear makes me wince. Just because their machine doesn’t tell them so doesn’t make me wrong. 😉 Looking forward to the next artist in the spotlight!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 22, 2020

        Let your ear guide you. Yup!

        Like

  7. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    December 21, 2020

    Incredibly good music CB. Always loved the Duke!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 1537
    December 21, 2020

    A good friend of mine cites Duke Ellington as proof of the existence of a benign and all-powerful God taking care of his creation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 21, 2020

      I’m not going to argue with that. One of my favorite human beings. How he held those guys together was a miracle in herding cats.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. EclecticMusicLover
    December 21, 2020

    Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2020 by in Cat Anderson, Duke Ellington, Jazz and tagged , .

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