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A big band trumpeter with a big way of playing.

  • Jan 6, 2009
  • by
Any trumpeter will kindly give you some of his favorite trumpet players. He might even tell you that they are the best of all time. Many are assuredly deserving of some of this esteem whereas some are so underrated or rather under appreciated that they may go by without any favoritism by the majority of trumpet connoisseurs. Now enter Harry James, one of the best big trumpeters of his time and quite possibly, one of the better innovators of the trumpet of all time.

He was known for this ostentatious, bombastic style of playing. Using techniques that some of the best trumpeters only wish they could do. He was playing Concerto for a Trumpet during a time where trumpet, jazz and smoke filled jazz bars were king and where you dressed up in a suit to go out at night. He was a face of elegance holding that horn made of brass that would pop and radiate any room he played in. He dubbed many movies as well as playing himself in many films, actually performing his sets live. In some of his films you can see the other musicians looking incredulously at this virtuoso with a trumpet as he improvised his way through a scene. Thankfully he had many extant recordings for are listening pleasure today. There was not another that could play with such presence, speed, charisma, and poignancy as this man. Give him a listen, he might just make an appearance on your list of favorite trumpet players.

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Sean Marrone ()
Ranked #344
Well, I'll just say this. I never let anopportunitypass me by, and I never vacillate at a chance to act spontaneously.
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About this actor


Harry James (March 15, 1916  July 5, 1983) was an American musician and band leader, and a well-known trumpet virtuoso. James was one of the most outstanding instrumentalists of the swing era, employing a bravura playing style that made his trumpet work instantly identifiable. He was also one of the most popular bandleaders of the first half of the 1940s, and he continued to lead his band until just before his death, 40 years later.
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Filmography: Bathing Beauty
Birth Date: March 15, 1916
Birth Place: Albany, Georgia
Gender: Male

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