1938-1972. A wonderfully expressive trumpeter from Philadelphia - he seasoned his virtuosity with a hint of a wiseass, or Class Clown, style that could make even a lame tune (or LP) compelling; maybe Lester Bowie, et al, is an heir to that aspect. Much-recorded, as leader and sideman, mainly with Blue Note. He had a soul jazz hit with "The Sidewinder", but didn't go out of his way to try to do sequels. His shooting death is probably still a mystery. (Or maybe not. I have this Zapruder film and some long ramble, years ago, from a guy from Philly I met one night. Maybe I got confused by it all.)

He was shot outside of a club called Slugs (where he was playing), back in 1972. Did his wife shoot him? A girlfriend, maybe? An ex-girlfriend? Some guy from Philly gave me his version of events a few years ago, but I don't remember a single word of it now. The truth is out there - buried in the archives of rec.music.bluenote, no doubt. It's like the death of Albert Ayler - some swear that Ayler's drowning in the East River was a suicide; others say murder.

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