Cat Anderson (September 12, 1916 – April 29, 1981) was an American jazz trumpeter best known for his long period playing with Duke Ellington's orchestra, and for his extremely wide range (more than five octaves), especially his playing in the higher registers. Anderson's career took off, however, in 1944, when he joined Duke Ellington's orchestra at the Earle Theater in Philadelphia. He quickly became a central part of Ellington's sound.
Anderson was capable of playing in a number of jazz styles, but is best remembered as a high-note trumpeter. He had a big sound in all registers, but could play in the extreme high register (up to triple C) with great power (he was able to perform his high-note solos without a microphone, while other members of a big band were usually amplified for their solos).
Wynton Marsalis has called him "one of the best ever" high note trumpeters. More than just a high-note trumpeter, though, Anderson was also a master of half valve and plunger mute playing. He played with Ellington's band from 1944 to 1947, from 1950 to 1959, and from 1961 to 1971, with each break corresponding to a failed attempt to lead his own big band. After 1971, Anderson settled in the Los Angeles area, where he continued to play studio sessions, to gig with local bands (including Louie Bellson's and Bill Berry's big bands), and occasionally to tour Europe. He died of cancer in 1981.
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