Modern Jazz Trumpet Legends

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Modern Jazz Trumpet Legends

Modern Jazz Trumpet Legends

By: Larry Kemp

About the Book

Modern Jazz Trumpet Legends is an examination of the lives and contributions of jazz trumpeters born between 1925 and 1940. Included are Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinsen, Chet Baker, and Clifford Brown 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.

                The Jazz Trumpet Legends three volume series is the most comprehensive book on the subject. In the series, 867 trumpeters are discussed. The second volume covers the trumpeters in the center of the history of jazz. There are the sad stories of those who died too young (Clifford Brown at 25, Ray Wetzel at 27 from automobile accidents; Joe Gordon at 35 from a house fire; Booker Little at 23 from uremia), balanced by the positive stories of those who accomplished much with their lives (Miles Davis invented cool jazz and fusion; Maynard Ferguson took the trumpet to new heights; Lionel Ferbos performed regularly for a couple of years after his hundredth birthday; Clora Bryant and Betty O’Hara showed that women could get the job done on the trumpet).

                Modern Jazz Trumpet Legends contains two appendices that apply to trumpeters in all three volumes: a yearly calendar showing, for each day of the year, the trumpeters born on that date; and a geographical listing of the states and countries showing, for each place, the trumpeters born there.

                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.


(2018, Paperback, 218 pages)

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