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Fats Navarro


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Theodore (Fats) Navarro (24 September 1923 – 6 July 1950) was an American trumpet player. He was a pioneer of the style of jazz improvisation in the 1940’s. He is regarded by many to have been one of the first modern jazz trumpet improvisers and in his short career had a strong stylistic influence on many other players, most notably Clifford Brown.

Navarro was born in Key West, Florida, to Cuban-Black-Chinese parentage. He began playing piano at age six, but did not become serious about music until he began playing trumpet at age thirteen. By the time he graduated high school he wanted out of Key West and joined a dance band headed for the midwest.

After touring with many bands and gaining valuable experience, and tiring of the road life, Navarro settled in New York City in 1946, where his playing really took off. He met and played with, among others, Charlie Parker, one of the greatest musical innovators of modern jazz improvisation. He also developed a heroin addiction, which, coupled with tuberculosis led to a slow decline in his health and death at the age of twenty six.

Among others, Fats Navarro played in the Andy Kirk, Billy Eckstine, Benny Goodman, and Lionel Hampton big bands, and participated in small group recording sessions with Kenny Clarke, Tadd Dameron, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, Howard McGhee, and Bud Powell.


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  • kmullin

    thought he would be well-played. And, i thought he was well-known. One of the first guys i listened to after Bird and Diz.

    8 Oct 2013 Reply
  • worinimabi

    Fats Navarro那灼人的即兴,让人深深地扼腕叹惜

    2 Aug 2012 Reply
  • _duif

    less than 1/10th of Clifford Brown's number of plays? how did that happen?

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • bottscevins

    there wouldn't be a clifford without fats.

    16 May 2009 Reply
  • Trumpethead

    Lennie used to tell me Fats was the best he ever played with

    31 Dec 2008 Reply
  • SirAlecHendrix

    Fats Navarro—now connected to the brandnew group ➤ Round Midnight

    25 Sep 2008 Reply
  • F_Hole

    What incredible asymmetric lines Mr. Navarro could weave. Totally different than Diz, Miles, all the bop trumpeters. You can find those live, lo-fi grabs of Bird, Fats, and Bud Powell jamming (tunes include The Street Beat, Move) you're in for a treat.

    16 Jun 2008 Reply
  • dveintimilla

    well said, well said..what a musician!

    8 May 2008 Reply
  • Bobbygillespie

    Gone but not forgotten

    8 Dec 2006 Reply

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