Eddie Duran was born 75 years ago in San Francisco into a musical family of Mexican heritage. “Our parents loved music and never objected to our following a musical career,” he says. Django Reinhardt was Eddie’s first inspiration, followed by Charlie Christian “He was the big one for electric guitar in a jazz band” Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney and Tal Farlow, who like Eddie, were known for their bright swinging melodicism.
Although he did take a year of lessons, Eddie considers himself and “ear player.” “Music is this spiritual and intangible thing, and you’ve got to feel it coming out of you.” He was a professional at the age of 15, and in the heyday of the San Francisco bebop scene, he played and recorded with such Fantasy stars as Vince Guaraldi, Red Norvo, and Cal Tjader, as well as with Charlie Parker, Stan Getz George Shearing, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Benny Goodman, Pearl Bailey and Barbara Streisand. In the 1980s Eddie recorded three albums as a leader for Concord Jazz Records, two of them nominated for Grammy Awards.