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Rex Stewart

Rex William Stewart (February 22, 1907 – September 7, 1967) was an American jazz cornetist best remembered for his work with the Duke Ellington orchestra.

After stints with Elmer Snowden, Fletcher Henderson, Horace Henderson, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and Luis Russell, Stewart joined the Ellington band in 1934, replacing Freddie Jenkins. Duke Ellington arranged many of his pieces to showcase Stewart's half-valve effects, muted sound, and forceful style.

Stewart co-wrote "Boy Meets Horn" and "Morning Glory" while with Ellington, and frequently supervised outside recording sessions by members of the Ellington band. After eleven years Stewart left to lead his own groups - " little swing bands, that were a perfect setting for his solo playing." He also toured Europe and Australia with Jazz at the Philharmonic from 1947 to 1951. He made a cameo appearance in Jacques Becker's 1949 film Rendezvous in July. From the early 1950s on he worked in radio and television and published highly regarded jazz criticism. The book Jazz Masters of the Thirties is a selection of his criticism. Stewart also wrote for Playboy, Down Beat and several other publications during his life. He lived in upstate New York after purchasing a 100+ year old farmhouse. He hosted a jazz radio program in Troy, New York and owned a small restaurant for a very short time near a drag racing stadium in Vermont. While living in France, he attended the Cordon Bleu school of cooking and dedicated his life to being a fine cook.

Stewart moved to Los Angeles, California to be near his three children – Rex Jr., Helena and Regina. His other son Paul Albert Hardy lived in New York City. While in Los Angeles he re-connected to many of the Ellington side-men who lived there and played a lot of "jam" sessions in clubs in the Los Angeles area. Rex was also one of the regular studio musicians seen on the Steve Allen TV show. He hosted and coproduced (with George Cole) two radio shows about jazz music from his era, Dixieland Doings and Things Aint What They Used To Be.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 22nd, 1907 (Philadelphia), Died Los Angeles

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1958

Roles Represented in DAHR: cornet, leader, composer, trumpet, trombone

Recordings (Results 76-90 of 90 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W141741 10-in. 3/2/1926 Mama is waitin' for you Rosa Henderson Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and piano instrumentalist, cornet  
OKeh W404566 10-in. 12/4/1930 Goodbye blues Chocolate Dandies Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, cornet  
OKeh W404596 10-in. 12/30/1930 Cloudy skies Chocolate Dandies Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, cornet  
OKeh W404597 10-in. 12/30/1930 Got another sweetie now Chocolate Dandies ; Jimmy Harrison Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, cornet  
OKeh W404598 10-in. 12/30/1930 Bugle call rag Chocolate Dandies Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, cornet  
Decca 39390 10-in. 3/4/1935 Stay out of love Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, cornet  
Decca 39391 10-in. 3/4/1935 I' ll never change Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, cornet  
Decca 39392 10-in. 3/4/1935 Where were you on the night of June the third? Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, cornet  
Decca 39393 10-in. 3/4/1935 (Looks like I'm) Breakin' the ice Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, cornet  
Vocalion E4793-E4794 10-in. 4/4/1927 Ten o’clock blues Rex Stewart Harlem Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Vocalion E4795-E4797 10-in. 4/4/1927 Oh, Malinda Rex Stewart Harlem Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Decca 104238 2/3/1958 The stroll Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band instrumentalist, cornet  
Decca 104239 2/3/1958 Ram-bunk-shush Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band instrumentalist, cornet  
Decca 104240 2/3/1958 Honky tonk Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band instrumentalist, cornet  
Vocalion 577W-579W 10-in. 3/20/1925 Get it fixed Rosa Henderson Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance trio instrumentalist, cornet  
(Results 76-90 of 90 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Stewart, Rex," accessed August 4, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103819.

Stewart, Rex. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 4, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103819.

"Stewart, Rex." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 4 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103819

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