Gene Krupa

Eugene "Gene " Krupa ( born January 15, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, † October 16, 1973 in Yonkers, New York ) was an energetic game for his famous American jazz and big band drummer and orchestra leader. It is due to that long drum solos were popular. He is considered the first great star of the drums.


Krupa began playing drums at the age of eleven. In 1921 he played in helping out a band that occurred during the summer months in Wisconsin. In high school, he became friends with members of the Austin High School Gang, Jimmy McPartland, Frank Teschemacher, Bud Freeman and Jim Lanigan, who also starred on his first recording later. 1924/25, he attended St. Joseph's Seminary in Reusselaer, Indiana, but returned early back to Wisconsin. When Roy Knapp, Al Silverman and Ed Straight he took drum lessons from 1925. In 1927 he became a member of Thelma Terry and Her Playboys; In the same year he made his debut in recordings with the Chicago Rhythm Kings and Eddie Condon / Red McKenzie Chicagoans, where he had stood in for Dave Tough and the first drummer in jazz started a bass drum recordings ( which would have prepared beforehand receptive technical problems).

He subsequently worked for Joe Kayser, Leo Shukin and Benson Orchestra in 1929, he moved to New York, where he first then light music played in the band of Red Nichols and on Broadway. During this time made ​​Krupa recordings with Bud Freeman, Red Norvo, Miff Mole, Fats Waller, Adrian Rollini, Bix Beiderbecke and Red Nichols. From 1934 he played in the band of Benny Goodman and was soon due to its excellent game to a national celebrity; on the recording of " Sing, Sing, Sing" from 1937 played Gene Krupa, the first long -established on plate drum solo. As early as 1935 began Krupa to publish records under his own name. With such soloists as Nate Kazebier, Israel Crosby, Roy Eldridge and Chu Berry created titles such as " Blues of Israel ," " Three Little Words " and "I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music".

After the success of the concert at Carnegie Hall and in Goodman Trio Krupa left the band in 1938 and founded in November with musicians such as Vido Musso Milt Raskin and his own orchestra, which debuted in Atlantic City. In May 1938, he had to " Grandfather's Clock " first hit in the national charts, the 26 to 1950 should follow.

He led his orchestra until 1943 when he had to go to jail for a crime against the drug law for three months. His immense popularity in the United States did no harm; in 1944 he was again voted the best drummer of the country. The most important musicians of his orchestra at that time were Roy Eldridge, Nate Kazebier and Floyd O'Brien, as soloists Anita O'Day worked and Leo Watson, arranger was George Dale Williams. Krupas success title of this year were " After You've Gone ," " Rockin 'Chair " (1941 ) and the O'Day / Eldridge duet " Let Me Off Uptown " in which Roy's famous appeal " Anita, oh Anita! Say ..., I Feel somethin was included ', " followed by his trumpet passage.

In 1943 there was a reunion Krupas with Goodman. 1943/44, played Krupa then with Tommy Dorsey before he founded one of the early 1945 by then most big bands, which was temporarily occupied with more than 40 musicians; with it were, inter alia, Charlie Ventura, Anita O'Day Teddy Napoleon and turn as well as young bebop musicians such as Don Fagerquist, Lennie Hambro and Frank Rehak and Buddy Hughes Bandvokalist, Success titles were "Leave Us Leap ," " Lover" and " How High the Moon". In this phase Krupa flirted briefly with the sounds of modern jazz ( as heard in songs like " Disc jockey jump" or " Callin Dr Gillespie "); However, his drumming style did not fit the music Fagerquist, Red Rodney, Buddy Wise and Charlie Kennedy played in his band. Eddie Finckel, Gerry Mulligan ( of the band "Disc Jockey Jump" wrote ) and George Williams worked at the time for him as arrangers. Until its dissolution in 1951, he reduced the band gradually again and then played again in trio or quartet instrumentation with Ventura and Teddy Napoleon, in which he played swinging new versions of titles such as " Dark Eyes " and "Body and Soul".

Krupa appeared regularly in the Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts, and then headed back his own trio with Charlie Ventura, Flip Phillips, and Eddie Shu. In 1956 for his Verve album Drummer Man to a reunion with Roy Eldridge and Anita O'Day, he also took Duet plates with Buddy Rich on the designated Krupa later than his first idol and its greatest source of inspiration. During this time he worked on some jazz films such as The Benny Goodman Story and the Glenn Miller Story. To The Gene Krupa Story (1959 ), he not only provided the soundtrack, but it also occurred even on.

Early 1960s was Krupa in numerous television shows as a guest and had even briefly in 1963 for an appearance at Disneyland again own big band. But in the late 1960s, he finished his regular public appearances. He taught at this time, but continued his education in the timpani and ethnic drumming. Before he died in 1973 from leukemia, he appeared only rarely; for example, in November 1972 with Eddie Condon, and Wild Bill Davison Jazz at the New School.


Krupa, who was arrested the Dixieland in the heart, but earned since the late 1940s, the achievements of bebop in the Swing, "was not with his hard beat and a steadily improving technology to a key figure of the swing, what his show - talent throughout was uninvolved. " Krupa early experiments with African percussion influenced drummer of modern jazz such as Max Roach. Krupa said in an interview with George T. Simon to his style:

" Drum solos must have substance and continuity. Before I start with one that I try to get a good idea of ​​what I want to play. During the game, I hum something like " boom -di- di, boom -di- di, boom " - and then put it away with a different phrasing, which is related to the one that I 've just played in relationship. At the same time I buzz continues to myself, so that not only their separate each syllable gets beat, but also their separate sound. This is very important because if a drum is to be musical, it must create a sound, not just a sound. "

The British band Apollo 440 proved the musician in 1996 with the song Krupa their reference. 2003 revived Michael Berkowitz, the Gene Krupa Orchestra.

Disco Graphical Notes

  • The early and middle work Gene Krupa 1935-1947 is documented in the edition of the Classics label.
  • Benny Goodman: The Famous Carnegie Hall Concert 1938 ( Columbia)
  • Drummin ' Man ( Charly, 1938-1941 ) with Roy Eldridge, Anita O'Day, Benny Carter, Charlie Ventura
  • Drum Boogie ( Columbia, 1940-1941 )
  • Uptown (Columbia, 1941-1949 )
  • Lionel Hampton / Gene Krupa ( forlane, 1949) with Don Fagerquist, Frank Rehak, Frank Rosolino, Roy Eldridge
  • The Exciting Gene Krupa (Enoch 's Music, 1953) with Charlie Shavers, Bill Harris, Willie Smith, Ben Webster, Teddy Wilson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Israel Crosby
  • Krupa and Rich ( Verve, 1955) with Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Illinois Jacquet, Flip Phillips, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Buddy Rich
  • Gene Krupa Big Band: Drummer Man featuring Anita O'Day & Roy Eldridge ( Verve, 1956)


  • The Complete Capitol Recordings of Gene Krupa & Harry James - ( Mosaic - 1999) - 7 CDs - Gene Krupa with Red Rodney, Ray Triscari, Charlie Ventura, Teddy Napoleon, Joe Dale, Buddy Stewart, Don Fagerquist, Al Porcino, Sam Marowitz ts Caroline Grey voc - the remaining information with Harry James