Archive | July, 2013

Jack Teagarden

15 Jul

Jackson Teagarden is very often my favourite singer. Preferences shift depending on what I’m listening to, but so often I have come back to Teagarden, ever since I heard him singing ‘Rockin Chair’ with Louis when I was pretty young.

He sings with such an absence of artifice and natural feeling and this beautiful, rich, instrumental tone. In fact that description would cover his gorgeous trombone playing too.

For years it bothered me that when his voice was at its most sumptuous (in the 60s), he seemed to record nothing but countless versions of ‘Basin Street Blues’ and the aforementioned ‘Rockin Chair’. I was overjoyed in 1998 then to discover they had re-released his Verve album ‘Think Well Of Me’ – complete with string arrangements by Russ Case and Bob Brookmeyer.

I listened to this album often (with wonderful songs by Willard Robison, famous for ‘Old Folks’, ‘Don’t Smoke In Bed’ and ‘Cottage For Sale) until in 2003, Verve released ‘Mis’ry and the Blues’ the first of his three albums with that label. Both these albums feature heavily on my personal playlist. In the meantime, they have discontinued ‘Think Well of Me’ (though you can pick it up from Amazon for the very reasonable sum of £210.

Anyway, I always wondered why they never released the third Verve album (simply titled ‘Jack Teagarden!!’ and bizarrely loaded with Hollywood themes – ‘Moon River’, ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’, ‘Gigi’ and the like). Well, this evening I am rather excited as I’ve discovered that the Teagarden family have a version of the album for sale on CD Baby. I can hardly get my credit card out fast enough – but am very poor after New York, so will have to wait a week. Meanwhile I thought I’d share it with my readership.

(originally posted on 26th January 2007 by Joe Paice)

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