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Frank Teschemacher

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Biography

One of the early jazz legends, Frank Teschemacher was an exciting if erratic clarinetist and altoist who was an important participant in the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s. A member of the fabled "Austin High School Gang" of young Chicago jazz musicians, Teschemacher started recording in 1927 (with the McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans), although observers of the period have stated that his records were not as strong as his live performances. A fine musician whose solos are a little reminiscent of his contemporary Pee Wee Russell, Teschemacher recorded in Chicago with a variety of overlapping pickup groups in 1927, spent 1928 in New York (where he played with Ben Pollack, Sam Lanin, and Red Nichols), and then returned to Chicago. His life was cut short by a tragic automobile accident, making one wonder how Tesch (a good all-round musician) would have fared in the swing era. All 34 of his recordings plus six others that he might be on are included on a perfectly done Time/Life three-LP box set.