The deeply talented musician Jean-Francois Bonnel just called our attention to these two solo performances — Jack Teagarden, recorded backstage — improvising on LOVER (his famous solo) and the blues (looser). They are astonishing displays of what Jack always did — make the absolutely impossible look, if not easy, at least plausible.



The brass players in the audience will be able to tell us just how superheroic that playing is.  The rest of us will simply have to smile and marvel.  Jack’s been gone almost fifty years — but he hasn’t been equalled or replaced.

(Bless Jack for sharing his talents so open-heartedly, and bless the recordist!)

May your happiness increase.


  1. Posted on Youtube by my dear friend Renaud Perrais !

  2. Merci millefois, M. Perrais! “WOW!” (in American English)

  3. I believe that these are the performances Joe Showler issued on one of his 45rpm records on his Teagarden label (TR 52687). One tragedy of those who love Jack’s playing is that Joe was prevented from publishing his monumental book about Jack during his lifetime and his astonishing documentary film. While I only met Joe a few times, he was a gracious man and would enjoy seeing his recording getting attention through YouTube and Michael’s blog. Let this great music live on.

  4. You’re correct, Mr. Hustad. I read somewhere that there was some type of dispute between the Teagarden estate and Mr. Showler which prevented his book and/or film from seeing the light of day.

  5. Outstanding! The one and only Jack Teagarden.

  6. Thank you, Mssrs. Steinman, Bonnel, Perais, et al.!
    Wonderful, on many levels.
    As a player and life-long student of Jack’s music, it gives me the opportunity to study his playing — lines, musical choices, techniques, articulations, completeness of thought, etc — in it’s purest form, unadorned.
    As a fan equally passionate about the man, his life, and jazz history, I’m moved by the fact that essentially it recreates the famous story (I hope true) of the New York cats hearing him for the first time in 1927, playing a tune and some blues…a capella…at Pee Wee Russel’s behest in a second-floor speakeasy off Broadway. Cooooooool!

  7. Supposedly it was DIANE . . . imagine it!

  8. Matt Haviland

    Right…and I am! If these cuts are any indication, the cats probably swore they heard bass & drums behind him. So amazing, his time and rhythm.

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