Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
One of the few traditional jazz musicians who later branched out into swing and bop, trumpeter Wallace Davenport also backed gospel and R&B vocalists during an extensive career. He played with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band in 1938 and with Papa Celestin in 1941 before leaving New Orleans to serve in the Navy. Davenport returned there after the War, and made the transition to swing and bop, playing with various local bands. During the '50s he toured America and Europe working with Lionel Hampton, and recorded in Paris in the mid-'50s with Mezz Mezzrow. Davenport played with Count Basie from 1964 to 1966, and also toured with vocalists Ray Charles and Lloyd Price. He went back to doing traditional jazz in New Orleans in 1969, and issued recordings of his groups playing this style from 1971-1976 on his own label, My Jazz. Davenport recorded in Europe with George Wein in 1974, and with Panama Francis and Arnett Cobb in 1976. From 1976 to 1979 he continued leading his own bands in New Orleans, and also reunited with Hampton briefly in 1976. The trumpeter worked in the '80s with both traditional units and gospel groups like the Zion Harmonizers and Aline White. Wallace Davenport died in New Orleans on March 18, 2004, at age 78.