Hot Lips Page: Lafayette
Hot Lips Page (trumpet)
Kansas City Jazz (Stardust)
Composed by Count Basie and Eddie Durham.
Recorded: New York, November 11, 1940
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Hot Lips Page departed the Basie band shortly before the group left Kansas City for New York. Page hooked up with Louis Armstrong's manager Joe Glaser, who promised to make the trumpeter into a star. But Page's dreams of becoming "the next Louis Armstrong" failed to materialize, although he had all the tools for jazz success: fluid technique, a strong sense of swing, an energetic solo style, and could even (like Louis) sing a blues or popular song with aplomb. By the early 1940s Page had stepped back from fronting his own band, settling for a sideman gig with Artie Shaw. He spent most of the remaining years of his career, before his death at 46, freelancing. "Lafayette" finds Page in top form, stoking the fires of a hard-swinging band with his trumpet pyrotechnics. Though stardom eluded Page, jazz cognoscenti still prize his classic recordings.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia