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However, it is possible to get some idea of how good the band sounded from 'Opus X' and 'Blowin' the Blues Away'.

There was an old, rotten cracker in the coach behind us, and he did a lot of eating.

When he got through with something, he'd open the door and throw his garbage into our section.

When Eckstine left the Hines Orchestra in 1943, he added his trumpet playing to his act as a night-club vocalist.

He worked opposite Dizzy Gillespie's small bebop band at the Yacht Club on 52nd Street, in New York, and when the club closed in 1944 Eckstine formed his own big band, which was to last until 1947.

It included in its ranks Gillespie, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charlie Parker, Budd Johnson, Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Fats Navarro, Lena Horne, Dexter Gordon, Lucky Thompson and Sarah Vaughan.