Jack Teagarden

Big Eight Blues

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Jack Teagarden made the trombone sexy, and his pliant, lazy tone made the instrument swing like a trumpet. He was also a remarkable singer, with a warm, Texas drawl that gave everything he sang a marvelous intimacy, and he never lost sight of the blues in everything he did, as this brief ten-track compilation illustrates. At his best, with his offhand, nuanced singing style, Teagarden raises songs to the level of vital Americana, and no one in jazz has ever gotten more out of the trombone at any level. There's much more to the story than this one disc provides, of course, but each selection here has real charm, and it all adds up to a stopgap introduction to an American treasure.

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