Monday, February 08, 2010


Jazz drummer Eddie Locke, was born on February 8, 1930 in Detroit,Michigan. Locke was associated with the Detroit jazz scene in the 1940s and 1950s, playing from 1948 to 1953 with drummer Oliver Jackson in a variety show called Bop & Locke.

Eddie Locke, the famed critic Nat Hentoff once wrote in Jazz Times, "embodies the resiliense of the jazz life." Never a major star as a soloist, he led his own band only at the very end of his career. But that career spanned well over 50 years and intersected with much of the music's history since the swing era. Locke could play in many styles; he could take a stage and entertain almost any audience. Eddie Locke, in short, was one of those musicians who serve as crucial cogs in a vital scene, and he was an astute observer of the many great jazz figures with whom he worked.

He moved to New York City in 1954, at first he played in low-profile afternoon slots, but other musicians began to notice him soon enough. The musician who most influenced the young Locke in New York was drummer Jo Jones, with whom Locke served as a kind of apprentice. He moved Jones's drums from studio to studio for recording sessions, and he soaked up Jones's style. "He was the most creative drummer I ever saw," Locke was quoted as saying by Hentoff. "He could create things I never saw anybody else do. And I'd never seen anybody play brushes the way he could.... The Basie rhythm section was just like the wind. It was so smooth."

Locke appears in the photograph A Great Day in Harlem- first row standing, third from the left. (not including the leg sticking into the frame)

Eddie passed away on September 7, 2009, in Ramsey,New Jersey.

Eddie at the Arbors Jazz Party

Recommended CDs

As leader

1977: Jivin' With the Refugees from Hastings Street (Chiaroescuro Records) with Tommy Flanagan, Major Holley,Oliver Jackson

1978: Eddie Locke and Friends (Storyville Records)

As sideman

With Roy Eldridge
Happy Time (1975)

Reference - Jazzlives

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