Nostalgia: Honoring Fats Navarro

Biography Discography Chronology Fats Navarro Day Audio clips Photo Gallery Scholarship What They Said About This Site

This page is devoted to the memory and music of one of jazz's greatest trumpet players -- Theodore "Fats" Navarro. His life was short but his accomplishments in jazz were great and far reaching in their influence on later trumpeters. He, however, is largely forgotten today, partially because he died just prior to the introduction of 12" LPs and the recording of extended pieces that would better showcase his great improvisational brilliance. Although he died more than two generations ago, his influence is still felt through a succession of later trumpeters including Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and more recently Roy Hargrove. Some have called him the first "hard bop" trumpet. In 1982 he was selected for the Downbeat Jazz Hall of Fame.

Perhaps even more to the point is the beauty of his play irrespective of whatever influence he may have had. He played in a classic manner in the sense that he seemed to strive for balance and structure. He practiced constantly and as a result developed a prodigious technique that permitted him to play just about anything he wanted. And happily what he wanted to play invariably showed great musical judgment and elegance while still swinging as much as anyone.

This site is maintained by:

Stuart A. Varden, Ed.D.