Rex Stewart

~ Person


Rex William Stewart (22 February 1907 – 7 September 1967) was an American jazz cornetist best remembered for his work with the Duke Ellington orchestra.

After stints with Elmer Snowden, Fletcher Henderson, Horace Henderson, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and Luis Russell, Stewart joined the Ellington band in 1934, replacing Freddie Jenkins. Ellington arranged many of his pieces to showcase Stewart's half-valve effects, muted sound, and forceful style.

Stewart co-wrote "Boy Meets Horn" and "Morning Glory" while with Ellington, and frequently supervised outside recording sessions by members of the Ellington band. After eleven years Stewart left to lead his own groups - " little swing bands, that were a perfect setting for his solo playing." He also toured Europe and Australia with Jazz at the Philharmonic from 1947 to 1951. From the early 1950s on he worked in radio and television and published highly regarded jazz criticism. The book Jazz Masters of the Thirties is a selection of his criticism.

Rex also wrote for Playboy, Down Beat and several other publications during his life. He lived in upstate New York after purchasing a 100+ year old farmhouse. He hosted a jazz radio program in Troy, New York and owned a small restaurant for a very short time near a drag racing stadium in Vermont. While living in France, he attended the Cordon Bleu school of cooking and dedicated his life to being a fine cook.

Stewart moved to Los Angeles, California to be near his three children - Rex Jr., Helena and Regina. His other son Paul Albert Hardy lived in New York City. While in Los Angeles he re-connected to many of the Ellington side-men who lived there and played a lot of "jam" sessions in clubs in the Los Angeles area. Rex was also one of the regular studio musicians seen on the Steve Allen TV show. He hosted and coproduced (with George Cole) two radio shows about jazz music from his era, Dixieland Doings and Things Aint What They Used To Be.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Trumpet Jive! Rex Stewart & Wingy Manone 1
1996 Rexatious: His Greatest Recordings 1926-1941 Rex Stewart 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 Rex Stewart and the Ellingtonians Rex Stewart 1
1997 The Chronological Classics: Rex Stewart 1934-1946 Rex Stewart 1
1998 Jazz Greats, Volume 63: Rex Stewart: Braggin' in Brass Rex Stewart 1
1998 The Chronological Classics: Rex Stewart 1946-1947 Rex Stewart 1
1999 The Chronological Classics: Rex Stewart 1947-1948 Rex Stewart 1
2001 The Chronological Classics: Rex Stewart 1948-1949 Rex Stewart 1
2003 The Chronological Classics: Rex Stewart 1949 Rex Stewart 1
2005 Best of Rex Stewart Rex Stewart 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Baden 1966 and Montreux 1971 Rex Stewart 1

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