When Dan Morgenstern and I had concluded our first series of video interviews, he reminded me that we hadn’t spoken of Charlie Shavers, and I was also eager to do this when we met for a second time. Charlie was an extraordinary trumpeter, arranger, and singer — someone not celebrated in this century as he deserves.
Why stardom seems to come naturally to one artist and not another is mysterious, but I hope that Dan’s wise, affectionate, and first-hand recollections will help people rediscover Mister Shavers:
“Smother me!” Charlie with the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra and Louis Bellson:
This is why sound film was invented, so that we could see and hear Charlie and Sidney Catlett have a delightful conversation — also John Kirby, Billy Kyle, Buster Bailey, and Russell Procope (or is it Charlie Holmes?) in 1947:
and late in life with Ben Webster, playing some “dirty blues”:
and the quartet that Dan referred to:
Previous interview segments with Dan can be found here. And there are more to come.
May your happiness increase!