|Tags:||under 2000 listeners cool bop bebop|
|Decades:||1950s 1980s 2000s|
10 January 1927, New York City, New York, USA. d. 13 April 2003, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. Eager had formal tuition on clarinet but in 1943 received lessons on tenor saxophone from Ben Webster, a switch that marked the start of his professional career. His early experience was gained in big bands on the more lightweight side of the swing era, including those led by Bobby Sherwood and Hal McIntyre. Towards the end of 1943 he joined Woody Herman and later worked with Tommy Dorsey. In Los Angeles he played in Vine Street clubs with Barney Kessel and Zoot Sims, whom he followed into the small group led by Big Sid Catlett. Around this time he heard Lester Young on records by the Count Basie band and thereafter remodelled his playing in the style of the Pres. In the mid-40s Eager was mostly to be found at 52nd Street clubs, playing with Coleman Hawkins, Pete Brown and many beboppers, including Red Rodney, Stan Levey, Max Roach, Al Haig and...