Ben Pollack

Vol. 4, 1929-1930

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Vol. 4, 1929-1930 Review

by Scott Yanow

The fourth volume in Jazz Oracle's Ben Pollack reissue program covers the period right after Benny Goodman and cornetist Jimmy McPartland had departed. They were soon replaced by clarinetist Matty Matlock and trumpeter Charlie Teagarden, but the main star throughout is trombonist/singer Jack Teagarden. This CD has 13 selections recorded by Pollack's Park Central Orchestra and by the same basic group under the names of Gil Rodin and Jack Teagarden, plus ten alternate takes. Because Pollack sought to balance the commercial with the artistic, there are vocalists on every song, including Smith Ballew, Scrappy Lambert, Eddie Gale, and (on three unfortunate examples) Pollack himself. Fortunately, Jack Teagarden gets to sing on five of the numbers, including (under Rodin's name) "Beale Street Blues" and two versions of "If I Could Be With You." (plus three alternate takes). There are enough worthwhile moments (particularly from Teagarden) to make this a worthwhile acquisition for fans of classic jazz, but the Ben Pollack Orchestra rarely lived up to its great potential.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Ben Pollack 02:45 Amazon
2 Ben Pollack 02:52 Amazon
3 Ben Pollack 03:01 Amazon
4 Ben Pollack 03:07 Amazon
5 Ben Pollack 03:10 Amazon
6 Ben Pollack 03:02 Amazon
Ben Pollack 03:02 Amazon
8 Ben Pollack 02:52 Amazon
9 Ben Pollack 02:55 Amazon
10 Ben Pollack 03:04 Amazon
11 Ben Pollack 02:24 Amazon
12 Ben Pollack 02:43 Amazon
13 Ben Pollack 03:01 Amazon
14 Ben Pollack 03:03 Amazon
15 Ben Pollack 03:05 Amazon
16 Ben Pollack 03:08 Amazon
17 Ben Pollack 03:09 Amazon
18 Ben Pollack 03:11 Amazon
19 Ben Pollack 02:51 Amazon
20 Ben Pollack 02:51 Amazon
21 Ben Pollack 02:53 Amazon
22 Ben Pollack 02:44 Amazon
23 Ben Pollack 02:59 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick