Personalities | Fats Navarro | Forties | Jazz & Blues

(Trumpet, 1923–50)

Theodore ‘Fats’ Navarro died prematurely and left a limited recorded legacy, most of it as a sideman. Nonetheless, he stood alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis as one of the most significant trumpeters in bebop. He took over Gillespie’s chair in Billy Eckstine’s seminal big band in 1945, and enjoyed a brief but creative relationship with pianist and arranger Tadd Dameron in 1948.

Although curtailed, his career saw him work with most of the major bebop artists, including Kenny Clarke, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, Bud Powell and Charlie Parker. His conservative approach to rhythm was balanced by carefully sculpted melody lines and a wealth of harmonic invention, while his burnished tone had a sweetness and richness unusual among the bebop speed merchants. His recordings for Blue Note as a sideman were gathered in two volumes as The Fabulous Fats Navarro (1947). He died of tuberculosis, exacerbated by his heroin addiction.

Styles & Forms | Forties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Robert Nighthawk | Forties | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.