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It’s Time for T – Jack Teagarden Volume 2
Makin' Friends
If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)
Loveless Love
Basin Street Blues
Beale Street Blues
After You've Gone
I Ain't Lazy - I'm Just Dreamin'
I'm An Old Cowhand
Serenade To A Shylock (Jam Session at Commodore)
St James Infirmary
Dark Eyes
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
It's Time For T
Glass Blues
Out Of Nowhere
Mighty Lak' A Rose
Body And Soul
Jack Teagarden (trombone) with Red Nichols, Benny Goodman, Gil Rodin, Charleston Chasers, Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti, Frankie Trumbauer, Eddie Condon, Jack Teagarden’s Orchestra and Big Eight
Recorded 1929-53
NAXOS JAZZ LEGENDS 8.120825 [63.47]

The world is not short of Teagarden retrospectives – this is in fact the second in Naxos Jazz Legends’ own series – but they’re always welcome. If you’ve not yet racked up the Charleston Chasers sides or the Big Eight, a stellar meeting with Rex Stewart, Barney Bigard and Ben Webster in the front line, you might want to give the track list a look-over.

If you do you’ll find that amidst the expect Ben Pollack and Teagarden and His Band sides you will encounter four Standard Transcription 78s recorded in Los Angeles from 1941-45. These were with his Orchestra, a largely anonymous studio band without any other soloists of distinction. His glorious solo in Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen is all too brief and the tune Glass Blues – credited to "composer unknown" – will be better known as The Mooche; a fine way to avoid royalty payments, despite the nod toward Ellingtonia.

One of the advantages of a single disc compilation is to trace Teagarden’s lineage from the early Jimmy Harrison influence (noticeable in Dinah) to the effortless lyricist of the later period. Admirers of his meeting with Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines in Knockin’ A Jug will also recognise his solo in the 1929 Makin’ Friends – stop time chorus, a touch of Armstrong-influenced scat and bluesy cornet from Jimmy McPartland (who once tapped me on the shoulder to let him through at the 100 Club in London whilst carrying Bix Beiderbecke’s old chair; "’Scuse me, son" he said as he passed, a magical figure reeking of speakeasies and rapacious brass duels).

Listen out for the Fletcher Henderson influence on the reed section’s chorus in Beale Street Blues and for Joe Venuti’s swing on After You’ve Gone – and not forgetting Jess Stacy’s evocative Teddy Wilson-like limpidity on Diane. Lovers of Pee Wee Russell can admire his Picasso-esque obbligato to Teagarden’s vocal on Serenade To A Shylock. The depth of the sidemen is one of the most obvious pleasures throughout.

Recording quality is good; a few of the earlier sides are very slightly noisy but that’s of little account. If you’ve yet to meet some of these tracks – you can hardly have avoided all of them unless you’re mired in specialism of the most arcane kind - then volume two in Naxos’s series is certainly worth a listen.

Jonathan Woolf

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