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Cat Anderson

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.

Browse our unique collection of Cat Anderson photos and prints below

Cat Anderson (CATA001FRAN)

Cat Anderson

Cat was renowned for his playing in the extreme high register. He claimed that he developed his screaming high notes to impress the girls.

Prices from £354.17
print

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Adam Ant photographed by Jill Furmanovsky during a cover shoot for The Face magazine in February 1981

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Patti Smith photographed in the Netherlands in January 1980

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The Clash on stage at the the first large scale Rock Against Racism/Anti Nazi League carnival at Victoria Park, April 1978.

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Jimi Hendrix after performing on Lulu's TV show in London in January 1969

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U2 on top of a hotel roof in Cork, Ireland on a cold February morning in 1980

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