From the Record Shelves #98

Peaceful Valley

Verve V-8416

This LP recorded in 1961, centered around a mature Jack Teagarden, is a polished affair, well arranged and flawlessly performed. Don Ewell is the pianist in the highly competent ensemble. Apart from a couple of lively dixieland standards it mainly expresses a nostalgic “end of the day” tiredness that Teagarden does so well, especially with his singing.

I’ve chosen a rather short version of a tune by a close friend of Teagarden’s that is Willard Robison. They met and played together already in 1924. Robison’s work as a composer has been compared to that of Stephen Foster and precedes the ones of Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer.

Peaceful Valley has a beautiful melody and was recorded in the 1920s by Fletcher Henderson and I also like a late version by Red Nichols. But I have not heard the lyrics on another recording than this with Teagarden singing and playing his wonderful trombone in an arrangement by clarinet player Mike Simpson.