Born on this day in 1905 in Gilroy, CA (do they still have a garlic festival there?), singer Ivie Anderson was best known for her work with the Duke Ellington Orchestra from 1931 to 1942. In fact, Ivie was considered the best vocalist Duke ever hired. Her version of “Stormy Weather” in this 1933 short Bundle of Blues was the definitive version, until Lena Horne came along in 1943 and made it her own.
Trumpter Cootie Williams is also in the band in Bundle of Blues. He was born on July 10, 1911 in Mobile, AL and was with Ellington from 1929-1940. After he left Duke he formed his own orchestra, and, like Duke, made some playin’, singin’, dancin’ extravaganza-type short films, like this one, which starts with the always entertaining Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson:
Trumpeter Lee Morgan was born this day in 1938 in Philadelphia, PA. By the time he was 15, he was leading his own group and taking part in Tuesday night workshops at the Music City club which brought him into contact with his main early influence, Clifford Brown. Two stints with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his hit “The Sidewinder” ensured his status as jazz legend. Unfortunately, so did the manner of his untimely death. For more about that, see Kevin Kniestedt’s post at Groovenotes.org.
With thanks to the world’s greatest video blogger, Bret Primak, The Jazz Video Guy, here’s some wonderful footage of Lee Morgan and an interview with bassist Bob Cranshaw: