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Taft Jordan

Taft Jordan

A fine trumpeter, Taft Jordan was known early in his career (when he joined Chick Webb) as a Louis Armstrong sound-alike both on trumpet and vocals. In fact, his recording of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" was so close to Armstrong's live show that when Armstrong got around to documenting it the following year, some listeners thought he was copying Jordan.

Taft Jordan had played and recorded with the Washboard Rhythm Kings before starting his long stint with Webb (1933-1942), which continued after the drummer's death when the band was fronted by Ella Fitzgerald. Jordan was (along with Bobby Stark) Webb's main trumpet soloist throughout the 1930s and he gradually developed an original sound of his own.

Jordan gained a lot of attention during his period with Duke Ellington (1943-1947), although Jordan maintained a lower profile during his last 24 years. He worked at the Savannah Club in New York with Lucille Dixon (1949-1953), toured with Benny Goodman (1958), played in show bands and the New York Jazz Repertory Company, and had his own group.

Taft Jordan recorded four titles as a leader in 1935 and one album apiece for Mercury, Aamco, and Moodsville during 1960-1961.Aamco, and Moodsville during 1960-1961.