Jack Teagarden- Shades of Night

DSCN4244This was 80 cents.  I am not sure why I bought it other than I like saying tromboner.  Please note that at the time of writing this, I have just completed by 5th day in a row of working 12 hour days.  The big job is over.  Today was the day of days and went a lot smoother than I imagined.413145

c637b0d6c4b4a4452ed258677c8abbb0Jack Teagarden (1905-1964) is regarded as the Father of the Jazz Trombone.  Born in Vernon, Texas, he expanded the trombone away from the traditional tailgate style of New Orleans bass bands into a more bluesier sound.  Known as the Big T, he played in various big bands.  He would die alone of a heart attack at age 58.

Jack’s Web Page

This came out in 1959 on Capitol Records.  It has decent reviews online.  Oddly enough, this is one of the few of his albums with no songs sung by Teagarden.  Technically, it is a good album but I probably would have enjoyed it more with a few vocals.  I guess the nuances of good jazz trombone escape me.

DSCN4245For a sample, I went with “Strange”.

223333.140820_ttsMeh album, mainly because I am just so tired.


Trombones Unlimited- One of Those Songs

DSCN2284This was 25 cents.  It had a good string of songs that I knew and liked.  For the price, it was worth a shot to hear these two tromboners.download

Trombones Unlimited was a jazz-pop combo that put out around five albums in the 60’s.  The combo was led by Mike Barone.  Born in Detroit in 1936, Barone would work with big bands before leading his own.  He would also do extenisive TV and movie work.  Today, the Mike Barone Band is still active and will be playing at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach on Oct 4th.  His partner for this album along with two others was Frank Rosolino.  Rosolino, who was also born in Detroit in 1926, worked with big bands as well as television shows.  Besides his trombone, he was known for his scat singing. His story is a more tragic one.  In 1978, he shot both his sons, then himself.  One son survived.

Mike Barone’s Web Page

Frank Rosolino’s Page on Trombones of the World

This album, released in 1968, is a decent collection of pop songs, augmented by trombones.  The album includes jazz standards (“In The Mood”and “Take the A Train”) contemporary pop (“Green Tambourine” and “Ode to Billy Joe”), a R&B standard (“Night Train”), and a children’s show tune (“Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah”).  Overall, it is a good mix.  There is nothing overtly radical.  Just a dual trombone combo tackling a diverse work of music.



For a sample, I went with “Ode to Billy Joe”.  It was hard to nail a song to best sum up the album.  After several attempts, this is what I came up with.

This has kind of turned out to be a crummy week for me personally so expect to see a lot of Meh albums, which is what I am giving this.  I mean, the album is alright, especially given what I paid for it, and perhaps it is unfair of me to rate this as such, but that is the mood I am in.


Specials- More Specials

DSCN2237Having just learned of the passing of trombonist Rico Rodriguez just 30 mins ago, I went to the archives to pull this out.  I bought this is Canada sometime in the 90’s.  I did the math and with the exchange rate at the time, it came out to under $5.  Overall, I have been doing a lousy job of keeping up with my musical obits.rico-rodriguez

Rico Rodriquez passed away Sept 4th at the age of 80.  He was born in Cuba in 1935 but raised in Jamaica. He was influenced by The Man on The Street himself, Don Drummond. In 1961, he would leave for the UK as did many Jamaica expats.  What strikes me is that he had quite an illustrate career outside his work with the Specials, working with such luminaries as Clement Dodd, Prince Buster, Duke Reid, Chris Blackwell, Theophilus Beckford, Toots and the Maytals, Sly and Robbie etc. In between, he would make a handful of solo albums, most notably, Man from Wareika. Furthermore,  he would play with Jools Holland’s orchestra from 1996 to 2012.  Despite this and probably because most people of my age link him with his 2 Tone work, this stuff gets overshadowed.DSCN2238

Rico’s Obit

The Special’s remake of “A Message to You Rudy” is the song most of the media is linking him with mainly because he played on both this and the original version.  For a sample, I used two tracks of this 1980 album, “Man from C&A” and “Holiday Fortnight” which have him sharing horn duties with Brittish born Dick Cuthell.

RIP Rico

Urbie Green- 21 Trombones

DSCN0044This a dollar.  As it was a Command record, I usually jump at the chance to snap it up.  Also, I like saying the word Tromboner, although I believe the proper term is Trombonist.

hqdefaultOn that note, Urbie Green has been called “A Trombonist’s Trombonist”.  Born in Mobile Alabama in 1926, Green has gone on to work in such bands as Gene Kruppa, Woody Herman, and Frank Carle.  He has also free lanced with Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Wes Montgomery, and so on.  He has released roughly about 30 records under his own name.  He has appeared as a guest on countless more.  He has pioneered his instrument further my working on mouthpieces, valve design, amplification, and other modifications. As of this date, he is still alive although his output slowed down considerably after the 80’s.

Urbie’s Web Page

This series of records (Vol 1 and 2) that Urbie recorded for Enoch Light and Command Records were perhaps his most notable recordings.  Coupled with 20 masters of the trombone, these records showcase both the skills of Green as well as the production qualities that Command is known for.  The arrangements are very masterful.  Besides that trombonists, the usual Command suspects are on this record.  However, the chorus of trombonists take the main spotlight.  The result is an enjoyable album with such highlights as “Timbre”, “Sunny”, Mancini’s “The Party”, “Perdido”, and “The Green Bee”.


For a sample I went with Kenny Rogers and First Edition’s “Just Dropped In”. For those keeping score at home, this is the second Big Lebowski reference in a month.  The wah-wah of the trombones on this are awesome as well as Tony Mottola’s guitar and Bernie Leighton’s Roxychord.6a00e008dca1f0883401676116a3e4970b-250wi

I will give this a satisfactory rating.


David Rose- More!More!More!


This was $3.00. I got it for the title and the album cover. Music of the Stripper… and other fun songs for the family . Because what says family fun like sitting down and listening to stripper music? Sitting around with brother and sister in an age before poles and Def Leppard.

David Rose was a composer, arranger, and bandleader from Chicago who moved to Hollywood after cutting his teeth in the Chicago radio scene. Once in Cali, he formed an orchestra and went on to work in radio, and TV. He won 5 Emmys for his work and he had at least three hit singles as well. On a personal note, he was Judy Garland’s first husband for all of three years. He died in 1990 at age 80. His daughter runs his publishing company, which licenses his songs.


Among his best known work is “Holiday for Strings” and “The Stripper”. Originally a B-side, this would go on be a number #1 song and the #5 tune of 1962. Furthermore, it has been used in countless movies, TV shows, and other media, including this famous scene from Slap Shot.

What to say about this album? You know, delivering what you promise goes along way with me and this record does that. Upon the first few listens, the songs all kind of sound the same. Most of them have what I take to be the staples of Old- Timey Stripper Music: dirty trombones, liberal use of ride cymbals, a pulsating beat, and accents to shake what was then known as cans to. After a few spins, the songs seemed to differentiate a bit more and I was able to appreciate some of the subtleties. “The Lullaby of Birdland” is an excellent cover. The horn on “Some of these Days” really wails. I was impressed with the inclusion of the theme to “Walk on the Wild Side”, the Lawrence Harvey/ Barbara Stanwyck movie. There is also a David Rose original “The Runway” which rehashes the inspiration for this album. Note that “The Stripper” is not on this album. The instrumentation is really good across the board. Again, it does what it set out to do.


Choosing a song was hard but I went with “Blues in the Night” mainly for its influence on cartoons which is what really got me in to music in the first place. That and the Muppets. Oh What the Hell. I will throw in “Sunset Strip” for this week’s double take.

I will say this is a satisfactory record now, but it is only a few spins away from going to into meh territory.