Although it had shifted from being a jazz group to being a dance band with the rise of the Depression, Ben Pollack & His Orchestra was still an impressive group in early 1931. Trombonist Jack Teagarden was its star soloist and the band contained the nucleus of what would become the Bob Crosby Orchestra a few years later, including tenor saxophonist Eddie Miller, altoist Gil Rodin, guitarist Nappy Lamare, and drummer Ray Bauduc. In addition, Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey made guest appearances with the ensemble on some of the recording dates. So listeners with an open mind toward the many vocals and arranged ensembles will find moments to enjoy during these performances, including a variety of brief solos. The best selections are "Loveless Love," "Sweet and Hot," and "Beale Street Blues." This entry in Jazz Oracle's very complete Ben Pollack series has music released originally as by Pollack, Gil Rodin, Jack Teagarden, and the New Orleans Ramblers, all using virtually the same personnel. In addition, the 16 selections are augmented by eight alternate takes.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow