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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

Jack Teagarden
Texas Tea Party
Original 1933-1950 recordings
Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120585


  1. I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues. Jack Teagarden Orchestra
  2. Texas Tea Party. Benny Goodman Orchestra
  3. Octoroon. Jack Teagarden Orchestra
  4. Muddy River Blues. Jack Teagarden Orchestra
  5. Jack Hits the Road. Bud Freeman & His Famous Chicagoans
  6. Aunt Hagar’s Blues. Paul Whiteman & His Swing Wing.
  7. The Blues have Got Me. Jack Teagarden Orchestra
  8. Casanova’s Lament. The Capital Jazzmen
  9. Stars Fell on Alabama. Jack Teagarden’s Chicagoans
  10. If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight). V Disk All Stars
  11. Rockin’ Chair. Jack Teagarden & His Swinging Gates
  12. Home. George Wettling’s New Yorkers
  13. When Your Love has Gone. Eddie Condon & His Orchestra
  14. St Louis Blues. Jack Teagarden’s Big Eight
  15. Blues After Hours. Jack Teagarden’s Big Eight
  16. Nobody Knows (and Nobody Seems to Care) Eddie Condon & His Orchestra
  17. A Song was Born. Louis Armstrong & His All Stars
  18. A Monday Date. LaVere’s Chicago Loopers

Jack Teagarden (1905 to 1964) was a tremendously influential figure in jazz; he defined the jazz trombone for all that have followed. Prior to ‘Big T’s’ influence jazz trombone players had played only short solos which were by and large similar to the ‘tailgate’ style they played in the New Orleans ensemble. In many ways his influence on jazz trombone players had the same impact as Louis Armstrong had on jazz trumpet. He was also a jazz vocalist of some note and an ideal foil for Louis Armstrong in the All Stars, although he only stayed in the Armstrong Band for four years, it was a very influential period for the band, Louis and jazz in general.

As can be seen from the listings above the band names in that period were almost as bizarre as those of many later day rock groups! This is however a very interesting and representative selection of Teagarden’s trombone playing and singing. The earliest track (1933) was made when he was 28 and his instantly recognisable style was already formed. I was quite surprised to find that on track 2, Benny Goodman who was 3 years younger, sounded like Pee Wee Russell, his development was obviously at a slower pace! It is perhaps a strange coincidence that the said Pee Wee was present playing with Bud Freeman’s Band on track 5.

The Paul Whiteman track was a feature for Jack during his time with that Orchestra, he is heard on both Vocal and Trombone and as usual, his work on both is impressive.

Stars Fell on Alabama was always a Teagarden favourite and the version here with Billy May on Trumpet is a classic.

Track 10 was originally a V Disk, for anyone unfamiliar with them, V Disks were made as morale boosters for the US Forces in World War II. They have been in demand with collectors from the time of their issue to date. Louis Armstrong is heard here together with Billy Butterfield and Bobby Hackett on trumpet and cornet respectively. Rockin’ Chair with Wingy Manone is very similar to the later version Jack did with Louis Armstrong on the famous 1947 New York Town Hall session.

Track 12 has Coleman Hawkins on Tenor, he only gets 16 bars here, but it is sufficient to identify this giant of the tenor saxophone.

St Louis Blues has Max Kaminsky on Trumpet and Peanuts Hucko another Armstrong All star on Clarinet. The track with the All Stars has Hucko’s predecessor Barney Bigard on Clarinet. Bigard had of course already become a well-known soloist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra by this time.

This is an essential item for those interested in how jazz developed during this period and one I enjoyed listening to. The re-mastering is first class as are the sleeve notes, which is not always the case with budget re-issues.

Don Mather




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