Blues – 1944

Jack Teagarden

A rare clip of the trombonist’s big band

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Jack Teagarden (1905-64) was one of jazz’s greatest trombonists and also a very good bluesy singer.

His arrival on the national jazz scene in 1928 forced most many of the other trombonists to reassess their playing for his legato approach and ability to lead an ensemble like a trumpeter displayed the great potential of his instrument.

While Teagarden was mostly heard in freewheeling Dixieland settings during his final 15 years, he led a swing-oriented big band during 1939-46 that played some fine music but cost him a great deal of money.

In 1944, Teagarden was in the very obscure film Twilight On The Prairie (also known as Prairie Buckaroos and Song Of The Plains), appearing briefly as part of a singing cowboy quartet and playing a blues with his big band.

The movie is long forgotten but these brief film clips show that he was in fine form even while wearing a cowboy hat.

-Scott Yanow


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