By Gary Giddins
Updated January 17, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

The feisty trumpeter and singer Roy Eldridge, known for the impetuous excitement of his solos, made some of his best recordings for Decca between 1936 and 1943. This steamy new collection of his Decca tracks, After You’ve Gone, has a few surprises, including a previously unissued version of the title tune, which was Eldridge’s pyrotechnical showpiece, and an ingenious variation on ”I Surrender Dear” that barely glances at the original melody. The music ranges from exalted swing to earthy jump tunes, with the latter qualifying as precursors of rhythm and blues. Eldridge bites into every solo with jolting passion, and with a harmonic sophistication that obsessed the many modernists who followed in his footsteps. A

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