Tenor sax "battles" have been held in jazz for decades, yet trumpet duels became far less common as time and the King Oliver/Louis Armstrong model faded into the past. Prestige/Swingville's 1961 pairing of Harold "Shorty" Baker (1914-66) and the still-thriving Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham (b. 1905) went against the grain and joined two eloquent brassmen whose reliable lead work in big band sections and non-flamboyant styles had led them to be overlooked unfairly. Cheatham had never had his name on a recording session before this date, while Baker was primarily known as one of several fine trumpets to be found on and off in Duke Ellington's orchestra for the previous two decades. They blend together exceptionally well, with Baker's intimate style offset by Cheatham's more declarative lyricism. The mood is alert yet mellow, with a particularly outstanding performance of "Good Queen Bess," a tune by Baker's former boss Johnny Hodges.
Chitlin's, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, Baker's Dozen, Good Queen Bess, Night Train, Lullaby in Rhythm
with Walter Bishop, Jr., Wendell Marshall, J.C. Heard