Roy Eldridge Day
David Roy Eldridge (30 January 1911 – 26 February 1989), nicknamed “Little Jazz“, was an American jazz trumpet player. His sophisticated use of harmony, including the use of tritone substitutions, his virtuosic solos exhibiting a departure from the smooth and lyrical style of earlier jazz trumpet innovator Louis Armstrong, and his strong impact on Dizzy Gillespie mark him as one of the most influential musicians of the swing era and a precursor of bebop.
Eldridge was born on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 30, 1911, to parents Alexander, a wagon teamster, and Blanche, a gifted pianist with a talent for reproducing music by ear, a trait that Eldridge claimed to have inherited from her. Eldridge began playing the piano at the age of five; he claims to have been able to play coherent blues licks at even this young age.The young Eldridge looked up to his older brother, Joe Eldridge (born Joseph Eldridge, 1908, North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, died March 5, 1952), particularly because of Joe’s diverse musical talents on the violin, alto saxophone, and clarinet.