Harry "Sweets" Edison

Harry "Sweets" Edison - © Jean Geiser

born on 10/10/1915 in Columbus, OH, United States

died on 27/7/1999 in Columbus, OH, United States

Harry Edison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Harry Edison

Harry "Sweets" Edison (October 10, 1915 July 27, 1999) was an American jazz trumpeter and member of the Count Basie Orchestra.


Born in Columbus, Ohio, Edison spent his early childhood in Louisville,[1] Kentucky, where he was introduced to music by an uncle. After moving back to Columbus at the age of 12, the young Edison began playing the trumpet with local bands.

In 1933, he became a member of the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra in Cleveland. Afterwards he played with the Mills Blue Rhythm Band and Lucky Millinder. In 1937 he moved to New York and joined the Count Basie Orchestra. His colleagues included Buck Clayton, Lester Young (who named him "Sweets"), Buddy Tate, Freddie Green, Jo Jones, and other original members of that famous band.

"Sweets" Edison came to prominence as a soloist with the Basie Band and as an occasional composer/arranger for the band. He also appeared in the 1944 film Jammin' The Blues.

Having joined the Basie Band in 1937, Edison spent 13 years with Basie until the band was temporarily disbanded in 1950. Edison thereafter pursued a varied career as leader of his own groups, traveling with Jazz at the Philharmonic and freelancing with other orchestras. In the early 1950s, he settled on the West Coast and became a highly sought-after studio musician, making important contributions to recordings by such artists as Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1956 he recorded the first of three albums with tenor great Ben Webster.

According to the Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies, Edison in the 1960s and 1970s continued to work in many orchestras on TV shows, including Hollywood Palace and The Leslie Uggams Show, specials with Frank Sinatra; prominently featured on the sound track and in the sound track album of the film, Lady Sings the Blues. From 1973 Edison acted as Musical Director for Redd Foxx on theatre dates, at concerts, and in Las Vegas. For the past two decades he appeared frequently in Europe and Japan until shortly before his death. As the Los Angeles Jazz Institute's (LAJI) first Tribute Honoree, "Sweets" will always have a special place in the hearts of jazz fans.

Sweets Edison was twice the Los Angeles Jazz Society's Tribute Honoree - in 1983 and in 1992.


As leader

  • Buddy and Sweets (with Buddy Rich, 1955)
  • Sweets (with Ben Webster, 1956)
  • Pres and Sweets (with Lester Young, 1955)
  • Gee, Baby Ain't I Good To You (with Ben Webster, 1957 or '58)
  • Jazz Giants '58 (1958) - with Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan
  • The Swinger (Verve, 1958)
  • Mr. Swing (Verve, 1958)
  • Sweetenings (Roulette, 1958)
  • Harry Eddison Swings Buck Clayton and Vice Versa (Verve, 1958) - with Buck Clayton
  • Patented by Edison (Roulette, 1960)
  • Together (Roulette, 1961) - with Joe Williams
  • Jawbreakers (Riverside, 1962) - with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
  • Ben and "Sweets" (with Ben Webster, 1962)
  • The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner (with Big Joe Turner, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge and Clark Terry, Pablo, 1974)
  • Oscar Peterson and Harry Edison (1974)
  • Oscar Peterson and the Trumpet Kings Jousts (1974)
  • Edison's Lights (1976)
  • Oscar Peterson + Harry Edison + Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (1986)

As sideman

  • Dizzy Gillespie - Jazz Recital (Norgran, 1955)
  • Louis Bellson - Thunderbird (Impulse!, 1965)
  • Clifford Coulter - Do It Now! (Impulse!, 1971)
  • Duke Ellington with Johnny Hodges, Side by Side and Back to Back (Verve, 1959)
  • Herb Ellis - Ellis in Wonderland (Verve, 1956)
  • Billie Holiday - Songs for Distingué Lovers (Verve, 1957)
  • Lester Young - Going for Myself (Recorded 1957-1958)
  • Billy Eckstine - Billy's Best 1958
  • Gil Fuller - Gil Fuller & the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra featuring Dizzy Gillespie (Pacific Jazz, 1965)
  • Milt Jackson - Memphis Jackson (Impulse!, 1969)
  • Buddy Rich, This One's for Basie (Verve, 1956)
  • Various artists - Jazz at Santa Monica Civic '72 (Pablo, 1973)
  • Various artists - Jazz at the Philharmonic Yoyogi National Stadium, Tokyo 1983: Return to Happiness (1983, Pablo)
  • BB King - Live at the Apollo (1991)
  • Modern Jazz Quartet - MJQ & Friends: A 40th Anniversary Celebration (Atlantic, 1994)

With Ella Fitzgerald

  • Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook (1956, Verve)
  • Get Happy! (1959, Verve)
  • Hello, Love (1960, Verve)
  • Whisper Not (1967, Verve)
  • 30 by Ella (1968, Capitol)
  • Ella Loves Cole (1972, Capitol)
  • Fine and Mellow (1974, Pablo)
  • All That Jazz (1989, Pablo)


  1. Biography, interview and albums of Harry Sweets Edison by cosmopolis.ch Retrieved 21 September 2013.
This page was last modified 21.09.2013 13:15:43

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