Jordan, Taft (1915-1981)

Born in Florence, SC but moved to Norfolk, VA and later to Philadelphia during his youth; trumpeter and vocalist; began playing on the baritone horn and later trumpet; he was known in his early career to be a Louis Armstrong sound-alike on trumpet and vocals; Jordan’s recording of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” was so close to Armstrong’s, some listeners thought Louis was copying Taft; played and recorded with the Washboard Rhythm Kings, Doc Hyder in Philadelphia then joined Chick Webb (1933) and remained after Webb’s death under Ella Fitzgerald’s leadership until the band was disbanded in 1942; Taft was the lead trumpeter (along with Bobby Stark) in Webb’s band through the 1930s; played with his own combo, the Duke Ellington Orchestra (1943-47) where he gained a lot of attention, the Lucille Dixon Orchestra at New York’s Savannah Club (1949-53), and toured with Benny Goodman with a stint at the Brussels Worlds Fair (1958); he led his own bands, and played in show bands and with the New York Jazz Repertory Company; he recorded four titles as a band leader in 1935 and three albums (1960-61).

Image Gallery

Selected Albums


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