Personalities | Chick Webb | Thirties | Jazz & Blues
(Drums, bandleader, 1909–39)
Associated with the Savoy Ballroom from 1927, the Chick Webb band built a large audience in Harlem. In the 1930s arranger Edgar Sampson became the chief architect of its swinging style, which was propelled by Webb’s dynamic drumming and flashy solos, crackling with rim shots. He inspired Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and other white big-band drummers. When Ella Fitzgerald joined in 1934, she became the band’s principal attraction, expanded its audience and took over after Webb’s early death.
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