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Jack Teagarden was one of the great names of jazz. In a career which spanned five decades, he established a reputation as one of the pre-eminent trombonists of his generation as well as a distinctive blues-influenced vocalist, who was equally at home as a bandleader or a sideman under another leadership. He recorded prolifically throughout his career so any collection of fifty or so tracks will only be able to take a selectively representative sample of his work through that period, which is what this set is designed to do. It comprises recordings both with bands that he led and where he was a member of another leader’s ensemble, plus some co-operative ventures. Most are studio recordings, but there are one or two ‘live’ tracks as well. The anthology does not try to tread any new ground or bring any new creative angle to the appreciation of his work, merely to offer a thoroughly enjoyable overview of the quarter century that comprised the most important part of his career from his early small group recordings in the late ’20s through the big band era to the heyday of the ’50s Dixieland revival. It is a celebration of a fine and versatile musician working alongside his peers in a medium of which he had complete command.
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