Adolphus Anthony Doc Cheatham was born in Nashville, Tennessee on June 13th 1905. He worked first in vaudeville theatres backing visiting blues singers (including both Clara and Bessie Smith) and playing for burlesque shows. By 1926, in Chicago, he was still occasionally trying saxophone, until the influence of Louis Armstrong and Freddie Keppard took over;soon after, on trumpet now, he was recording with Ma Rainey and soaking up music.
He travelled to Europe with Sam Wooding sharing the trumpet solos with Tommy Ladnier.Returning to New York he next spent ten years with McKinney's Cotton Pickers and then with Cab Calloway 1933/39. After a break due to ill health he joined Teddy Wilson and then Eddie Heywood.
By 1945, out of sympathy with Bebop, he took a job with the Post Office, worked out some dental problems, opened a New York teaching studio and took stock in general. He was soon back and, perhaps surprisingly, playing the jazz solos with a variety of Latin-American bands including Machito's and Perez Prado's.
By the 1950's he was swinging again working with Wilber De Paris, Sammy Price and Herbie Mann, then led his own band for five years at Broadway's International Hotel. 1966/7 saw him with the Benny Goodman band, then in the 1970's began to build an international soloist's reputation as a result of records, touring and a general public feeling that his career was worth celebrating.
Needless to say he is still performing and recording with the same spirit of adventure and discovery.
|Recommended recordings:||"The Eighty Seven Years of Doc Cheatham"||Columbia CK-53215|
|"Swinging in New Orleans"||Jazzology JCD-233|
|"At the Bern Festival" |
with Jim Galloway
|"Duets and Solos" |
with Sammy Price