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Reunald Jones, 78; Veteran Trumpeter With Basie Band

Reunald Jones Sr., veteran lead trumpet with the Count Basie band during the mid-1950s and before that with Chick Webb, Don Redman and Jimmy Lunceford, is dead at the age of 78.

Jones died Sunday in a Los Angeles convalescent home about the same time as his more famous cousin, Roy (Little Jazz) Eldridge, another trumpeter, died in a Long Island, N.Y., hospital. Eldridge was also 78.

Born in Indianapolis, Jones, who had suffered a series of strokes, played in the same brass section with Eldridge in the Speed Webb band in the early 1930s. Then he went with Webb, Willie Bryant, Redman, Erskine Hawkins and briefly with Duke Ellington before becoming part of the big Basie sound.

After spending five years with Basie (1952-57), he toured England with Woody Herman, played in George Shearing’s big band, spent four years with Nat (King) Cole’s orchestra and then settled into studio work.

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Survivors include a son, Reunald Jr., and two grandsons. Services will be private.


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