Life and work
Allen Eager was 13 years old clarinet lessons with Dave Weber, a musician of the New York Philharmonic. After he was allowed to play for 15 years with Woody Herman, he had Ben Webster lessons. Only sixteen years old, he played from 1943 as a tenor saxophonist with Bobby Sherwood, then at Sonny Dunham, Shorty Sherock, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Hal McIntyre and 18 years with Johnny Bothwell. Around 1945 he appeared in the jazz clubs of the 52nd Street; Early in 1946 he participated in recordings of Coleman Hawkins for RCA Victor; at the session, the Eager- Lomposition was recorded " Allen 's Alley ", which took over Charlie Parker as " Wee ". 1946 made his first recordings under his own name for Savoy Records. In 1948 he formed his own quartet ( with Bob Carter and Max Roach ) and worked Tadd Dameron in 1948 with the Royal Roost with Fats Navarro and together; Furthermore, he has performed with Jazz at the Philharmonic and Red Rodney.
Then Eager played until the early 1950s, often in Buddy Rich's Big Band; in whose band he was seen with his composition " Eager 's Handsome Blues" in 1949 in a CBS television broadcast. After several years of musical inactivity - Eager worked at this time as a sports teacher, rider or racer he had again in 1953 his own quartet in Boston, worked as a freelance musician and played in 1954/55 in The Open Door in Greenwich Village and sporadically with Oscar Pettiford, Tony Fruscella and Howard McGhee. 1956 and 1957 remained Eager in Paris and began playing alto saxophone here. After his return to the U.S. he was forgotten; In 1960 he joined the Newport Rebels Charles Mingus and on to Max Roach.
In the early 1960s he worked as a race car driver; In 1961 he won the first prize in the GT division at Sebring ( Florida). Beginning of the 80s he returned to the jazz scene; 1982 Eager stepped back on the Kool- Festival with Stan Getz and Al Cohn. After that, he was rarely to be seen; followed by occasional appearances in Florida, a guest performance in 1982 at New York's West End Café and 1986 at Chicago's Jazz Showcase.
Eager is also heard on recordings with Stan Getz, Al Haig, George Handy, Wynonie Harris, Gerry Mulligan, Terry Reig, Kai Winding, Ella Fitzgerald, the 52nd Street All Stars, Serge Chaloff and Charlie Parker.
Allen Eager was one of the first cool jazz tenor and was one of those who came near her idol Lester Young and simultaneously absorbed the innovations of bebop in his game. The critic Leonard Feather described Eager 1948 as "a kind of Jekyll and Hyde, his Dr. Jekyll is an amusing, well-read and highly articulate boy, while Hyde is a typical product of the frustrations and neuroses of 52nd Street was, with ornithological overtones. " This he responds to Eagers drug addiction. In his Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, he calls him " one of the brightest young men of his generation. "
Disco Graphical Notes
- Allen Eager: In the Land of Oo- Bla -Dee, 1947-1953 ( Uptown Records, 2003) with John Carisi, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Red Rodney, Charlie Parker, Serge Chaloff, Bud Powell, Richard Twardzik, Eddie Safranski, Buddy Rich, Max Roach
- Fats Navarro / Tadd Dameron: The Complete Blue Note and Capitol Recordings of ..., 1947-1949 ( Blue Note Records, 1995)
- Charlie Parker: The Great Sessions, 1947-1948 ( Musidisc, 1995)
- Stan Getz / Zoot Sims: The Brothers, 1949/1952 ( Original Jazz Classics, 1990)
- Gerry Mulligan: Mulligan Plays Mulligan ( Prestige Records, 1951) and The Mulligan Songbook (World Pacific, 1957)