Sid Gribetz presents a five hour tribute to Fats Navarro this Sunday, July 31, 2022, from 2-7 PM on “Jazz Profiles” on WKCR radio.
In his brief life, Fats Navarro was a fleeting spectacle of brilliance as a leading trumpeter in the history and development of jazz during the bebop years.
Nicknamed “Fats” or “Fat Girl” (befitting all in one his avoirdupois, his high pitched voice, and most important his fat musical tone on the trumpet), Theodore Navarro was born on September 23, 1923 in Key West. He played music seriously since childhood, and left Florida after high school to embark on a career as a professional jazz musician in big bands, first gaining notice as a teenager in Andy Kirk’s Clouds Of Joy. Upon the enthusiastic recommendation of Dizzy Gillespie, Navarro was hired to replace Diz in the notorious Billy Eckstine bebop big band in 1945.
In the late 1940's Navarro became a leading exponent of the bebop revolution, adding idioms and dialect to the musical language created by Bird and Diz, and, as Dan Morgenstern has written, Navarro distinguished himself by his beautiful tone, brilliance of execution, solid musicianship, and great powers of invention.
Navarro’s brief life ended on July 7, 1950, at the age of 26, succumbing both to a lingering illness with tuberculosis and the ravages of his heroin addiction.
Our program will explore his entire musical career, including his seminal recordings with Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, Coleman Hawkins and other greats.