Born: November 30, 1931 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Along with Lester Young in the 30s, Dizzy Gillespie in the 40s, and Zoot Simms in the 50s, Jack Sheldon is one of the Original Lions of the West Coast Sound. Jack's a premier improviser, is one of only a handful of trumpet players throughout jazz history who has developed his own distinctive signature sound. It's an inimitable sound that comes from his heart and soul, what Miles Davis called a voice.
As an integral part of the West Coast Scene of the 1950s, he played an important role in developing that era's bebop- inspired sound. His solid connection to that vibrant period in West coast Jazz surfaces with each impeccable solo.
Sheldon's collaborative list is indeed long and impressive: Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Curtis Counce, Shelly Manne, Art Pepper, Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Diane Schuur and many other greats.
Nominated five times for the Playboy International Artist Of The Year Award, Jack Sheldon continues to dazzle audiences with his prodigious chops and unerring sense of swing. Sheldon has been featured on innumerable soundtracks. It was his sensuous trumpet solo that immortalized Johnny Mandel's The Shadow of Your Smile from the Taylor-Burton film The Sandpiper. Today, his lyrical trumpet continues to garner the spotlight on soundtracks like Object of Beauty, The Super, White Men Can'tJump, For The Boys, Mr. Saturday Night, and his trumpet work is heard like a character in the Francis Ford Coppla film One From The Heart.
A sublime vocalist, Jack Sheldon has been ranked as one of the top jazz singers of the day. In addition to the many recordings show casing his trumpet, he's been a featured singer on soundtracks as well.
Jack Sheldon made his acting/comedy debut on The Steve Allen Show. His comedic skill was an immediate hit and he was soon given his own TV sitcom by CBS, Run Buddy Run. Over the years Sheldon has also appeared regularly on various television series including Dragnet, and Star Trek-The Next Generation. But his most powerful and popular TV stint was his tremendously successful 18 year association with Merv Griffin as featured soloist, resident comedian and musical director on The Merv Griffin Show.
In 2008 a feature documentray film opened, Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon, celebrated with many notable music and film personalities in interviews and rare archival films with Jack playing with Benny Goodman, Chet Baker and with his own remarkable band.
...one of the world's great trumpet players --David J. Spatz, Atlantic City News
spontaneous, unpredictable, often outrageous wit Stuart Troup, New York Times
Jack Sheldon's trumpet, gleamed and glittered. Every note plump as a ripe, sweet, grape --Tony Gieske, Hollywood Reporter
a born entertainer --John Contarino, Atlantic City Magazine
unerring sense of swing --Zan Stewart, Los Angeles Times
his big, fat, trumpet sound is gorgeous --Bob Comden, LA Jazz Scene
...Hollywood's finest talent...bravura and style --Bill Sanderson, Jazz Trumpet Journal