Anderson, Cat [William Alonzo]
- Scott Yanow
(b Greenville, SC, Sept 12, 1916; d Norwalk, CA, April 29, 1981). Americanjazz trumpeter. Orphaned when he was four, he grew up at the Jenkins Orphanage in South Carolina. He took up trombone at the age of seven but switched to trumpet in 1929, and learned music theory as a member of the school’s band. In 1932 Anderson and a group of students left the school and formed the Carolina Cotton Pickers. He was a member of the group until 1935, after which he had stints with the orchestras of Claude Hopkins, Doc Wheeler, Lucky Millinder, Erskine Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, and Sabby Lewis, and joined Duke Ellington in 1944. Although he left Ellington’s group in 1947, he returned to work with him again during the periods 1950–59 and 1961–71. He was subsequently based in Los Angeles, playing in the studios and with big bands led by Bill Berry and Louis Bellson. Anderson was a high note specialist, often hitting pitches in the upper register during the climax of pieces; on a recording of “Satin Doll” he made with Ellington in ...