Louis Metcalf seemed to be everywhere in the 1920s, but was largely forgotten once the Depression hit, despite remaining active into the late '60s. He played with Charlie Creath in St. Louis in the early '20s, moved to New York, backed a variety of classic blues singers, and worked with Willie the Lion Smith, Sidney Bechet, Elmer Snowden, Charlie Johnson, and Sam Wooding. His most important association was with Duke Ellington, recording with him in 1926 and being a regular member of his orchestra during 1927-1928. Metcalf's solo style was a contrast to the wah-wah playing of Bubber Miley. He also played with Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, and Luis Russell, and recorded with Bessie Smith in 1931. But after that, he stopped recording, leading a band in Montreal and working in the Midwest. Metcalf was back in New York for a few years in the late '30s and spent 1946-1952 leading the International Band in Montreal. He recorded obscure sides as a leader for Franwill (1954-1955), Stereo-O-Craft (1958), and Pickwick (1963); an excellent album for Spivey (1966) finds the trumpeter to have been influenced by bop and playing in a surprisingly modern style. But Louis Metcalf will always be best-remembered for his short stint with Duke Ellington 40 years earlier. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

born Feb. 28, 1905 Louis Metcalf "Call of the Freaks"
Call Of The Freaks - King Oliver & His Orchestra (Louis Metcalf, J.C. Higginbotham, Luis Russell)
Jackass Blues - Scaniazz with Louis Metcalf
Luis Russell And His Burning Eight - It's Tight Like That
The Trumpet's Prayer - King Oliver & His Orchestra (1929)
Down In Our Alley Blues - The Washingtonians (Duke Ellington Orchestra)
King Oliver And His Orch - The Trumpet's Prayer (HMV test)
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