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Father of Jazz Trombone

Jack Teagarden

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Album Review

Jack Teagarden made the trombone sexy, and his pliant, lazy tone made the instrument swing like a trumpet. He was also a remarkable singer, with a warm, Texas drawl that gave everything he sang a marvelous intimacy. Such talents did not go unnoticed in the jazz world, and he worked with such notables as Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti, Eddie Condon and Louis Armstrong, among others, throughout his long career. This three- disc box spans the years 1928 to 1947, and its 72 tracks show an amazingly consistent performer, giving the whole set a cohesiveness that makes it indispensable. Included are Teagarden's near-definitive versions of "Basin Street Blues," "Beale Street Blues," "Blue River," "Jack Armstrong Blues," "St. Louis Blues" and a couple runs at "St. James Infirmary." With his offhand, nuanced singing style, Teagarden raises songs like "Aunt Hagar's Blues" to the level of vital Americana, and no one in jazz has ever gotten more out of the trombone at any level. Combined with his early-'60s gems for Verve Records (Mis'ry and the Blues and Think Well of Me), this collection provides an overview and a wonderful introduction to an American treasure.

Biography

Born: 20 August 1905 in Vernon, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

One of the classic giants of jazz, Jack Teagarden was not only the top pre-bop trombonist (playing his instrument with the ease of a trumpeter) but one of the best jazz singers too. He was such a fine musician that younger brother Charlie (an excellent trumpeter) was always overshadowed. Jack started on piano at age five (his mother Helen was a ragtime pianist), switched to baritone horn, and finally took up trombone when he was ten. Teagarden worked in the Southwest in a variety of territory bands...
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Father of Jazz Trombone, Jack Teagarden
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