Early Jazz Trumpet Legends
By: Larry Kemp
About the Book
Early Jazz Trumpet Legends is an examination of the lives and contributions of jazz trumpeters born before 1925. Included are Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry James, Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, and Roy Eldridge along with scores of other men and women who created jazz with a trumpet. This is an essential guide for the student of jazz, those interested in history, and those who just like to read entertaining true stories about the most colorful people.
Early Jazz Trumpet Legends is the most comprehensive book on the subject. More than 320 trumpeters are discussed. There is a glossary of jazz terminology and a Forward explaining the nature of a trumpet, the nature of jazz, and what a legend is along with background information about New Orleans during the first 30 years of jazz. The scholarship involved is impeccable, while the text reads as easily as a novel. Those who travel to New Orleans will find the information in this book extremely useful to understand the soul of this exotic city and its role as the incubator of jazz. An ideal gift for any musician or lover of jazz.
Early Jazz Trumpet Legends is the first of three volumes organized chronologically by date of birth. The second volume, Modern Jazz Trumpet Legends covers those born between 1925 and 1940 and the third volume, Current Jazz Trumpet Legends, covers those born after 1940.
About the Author
Larry Kemp was born in Los Angeles and spent his preschool years living in Imperial County, California. In elementary school, he moved to Albuquerque, and then to Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, for secondary school. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for seven years and earned his Bachelor’s in Classics and a Juris Doctor degree. He was employed for a year at WNUF-FM, the big band station in Millvale, Pennsylvania, and then at WYDD-FM, the Pittsburgh jazz station, for two years.
Kemp practiced law in Western Pennsylvania for 33 years and retired early because of his annoyance of contracting Parkinson’s disease. That freedom from the stress of practicing law enabled him to write this book. He and his wife Virginia moved to Albuquerque to escape the Pittsburgh winters and to live closer to his mother. His adult children, Paul and Carolyn, continue to live in and near Pittsburgh. In Albuquerque, Larry returned to jazz radio and has become the primary host of the program “The House That Jazz Built,” on KUNM-FM, a show dedicated to modern, progressive, avant-garde, and free jazz.