Let Me Off Uptown
Gene Krupa and his Orchestra
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In this 1942 film short the Gene Krupa Orchestra performs “Let Me Off Uptown” featuring Anita O’Day vocals and Roy Eldridge trumpet.
In April 1941, after receiving many offers from white swing bands, Eldridge joined Gene Krupa’s Orchestra, and was successfully featured with rookie singer Anita O’Day. In accepting this position, he became one of the first black musicians to become a permanent member of a white big band. Eldridge was instrumental in changing the course of Krupa’s big band from schmaltz to Jazz. The group’s cover of Jimmy Dorsey’s “Green Eyes,” previously an entirely orchestral work, was transformed into jazz via Eldridge’s playing; critic Dave Oliphant notes that Eldridge “lifted” the tune “to a higher level of intensity.” Eldridge and O’Day were featured in a number of recordings including the novelty hits “Let Me Off Uptown” and “Knock Me A Kiss.”