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'Doc' Cheatham; Jazz Trumpeter

June 03, 1997

Jazz trumpeter Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham, 91, who played for seven decades and made the Top 20 charts as recently as this spring. After an apprenticeship with Louis Armstrong in the 1920s, Cheatham set out to develop his own style, seeking jobs in jazz clubs, playing along with big bands and accompanying such artists as blues singer Bessie Smith. Cheatham launched a second career as a soloist in his 60s. Although arthritis slowed his walk, Cheatham kept performing to the end. He recently made an album with musician Nicholas Payton and was scheduled for a guest appearance at the New York Jazz Festival later this month. On Monday in Washington after a stroke.

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