Nat Jaffe Dies

Nat Jaffe (January 1, 1918-August 5, 1945) was an American swing jazz pianist and was married to singer Shirley Lloyd.

Jaffe lived in Berlin from 1921 to 1932, where he received classical training on piano. Upon his return to the U.S., he began playing jazz music, working with Noel Francis, the Emery Deutsch Orchestra, and as a soloist on 52nd Street. In the late 1930s he played with Jan Savitt, Joe Marsala, Billie Holiday, and recorded with Louis Armstrong (1938), Charlie Barnet (1938-39) and Jack Teagarden (1939-40). He led his own trio in the early 1940s and recorded in 1945 with Sarah Vaughan.
Jaffe died in 1945 as a result of complications from high blood pressure at the age of 27.

One of far too many jazz musicians who passed away prematurely (in his case due to high blood pressure), Nat Jaffe was a talented swing pianist who was just coming into his own at the time of his death. He lived in Berlin with his family during 1921-32, taking extensive classical piano lessons. Jaffe discovered jazz after moving back to the U.S. when he was 14. He accompanied Noel Francis, played with the Emery Deutsch Orchestra and often worked as a soloist on 52nd Street. Jaffe played with Jan Savitt and Joe Marsalis, recorded with Louis Armstrong in 1938, worked and recorded with the big bands of Charlie Barnet (1938-39) and Jack Teagarden (1939-40), led his own trio and in 1945 was on a recording date with Sarah Vaughan. As a leader, Nat Jaffe recorded three piano solos in 1938 (released by Onyx), four duets in 1944 (for Signature) and four trio numbers also in 1944 (for Black & White). ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi