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Honky Tonk Train Blues

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Album Review

In 1939, pianist Bob Zurke formed a big band that recorded 30 selections during a ten-month period, and 28 songs (all but two vocals) are on this generous single CD. Although four veterans from the 1920s (trumpeters Chelsea Quealey and Sterling Bose, tenor saxophonist Larry Binyon, and drummer Stan King) were in the band, Zurke is the group's only significant soloist. Despite some excellent recordings (including "Southern Exposure," "Hobson Street Blues," "Honky Tonk Train Blues," "I've Found a New Baby," and a classic rendition of "Tea for Two"), the Bob Zurke Orchestra only lasted a year before breaking up, but its music still sounds swinging and lively today.


Born: 17 January 1912 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

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

One of the legions of jazz musicians to have lived hard and died young, the Detroit-born Zurke was best known for his stint as pianist with singer Bob Crosby's Bobcats. Zurke spent time with Oliver Naylor's Orchestra in Philadelphia during the late '20s and early '30s; he also recorded with bassist Thelma Terry & Her Playboys in 1928. Around that time, arranger Don Redman hired Zurke (and Glen Gray of the Casa Loma Orchestra) to copy parts for arrangements he'd written for McKinney's Cotton Pickers....
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Honky Tonk Train Blues, Bob Zurke
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 09 October 2001

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