From the Record Shelves #230

Basin Street Blues

78 rpm Parlophone R 1356

I continue to listen to early Jack Teagarden today. This 1931 record starts immediately with his voice, which is proper for this tune that was to become something of his signature. Many trombone players have started the tune by playing this verse. In fact, it was composed as an addition to the tune by two participants, Glenn Miller and Teagarden himself, the night before the session.

Even if this recording rightly should be considered a jazz classic, it somehow falls between cracks and is not much reissued on LP and CD. It’s probably because it is under the pseudonym of Charleston Chasers. The sound is similar to the records of Red Nichols at the time, but he is not there. The session is led by Benny Goodman, and the lead trumpet is Jack’s brother, Charlie Teagarden.

After the vocal there is a fine Goodman clarinet solo on the blues, a part of the tune that was later omitted. To follow, there are great solos on the main theme from the two giants, Jack Teagarden on trombone and Benny Goodman again on clarinet. Jack signs off the record by singing another verse. At the drums we hear Gene Krupa.