Monday, December 19, 2005

Jack Teagarden

When it comes to natural, unaffected trombone playing, the certified wonder of the trad jazz world was Jack Teagarden. His lovely and talented sister Norma, a jazz pianist I had the honor of accompanying on string bass a few times in the eighties, was quoted as saying her brother could tick off the harmonic overtones of a thunderclap. That he would think to do such a thing paints a portrait of a man posessed by his awe of music.

Through the generosity of my long time jazz friend "Fiddle Ray" Landsberg I offer for your enjoyment this simmering two-sided release of the swing perennial "Ise A Muggin." Side A gives us the song, a chance to strut some persuasively rhythmic syllables in tribute to the viper's alma mater. Side B is largely taken up with a droll bandstand lesson in, perhaps, gambling, and a demonstration of a number counting game that starts out goofy and goes up from there. If you try to play along with the game it will give your brain a stretch, which will make it harder to keep from laughing. "Somebody sang it and the song was born." Join in, won't you?

(Somebody told me under "religion" in Charlie Parker's passport it said "musician." Do you think this could be true?)

Ise A Muggin - Jack Teagarden

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