During October and November 1957, trombonist Jack Teagarden and pianist Earl Hines co-led an all-star group that toured England and France. In ways, the sextet was the Louis Armstrong All-Stars except with Max Kaminsky on trumpet. Hines and Teagarden had been part of Armstrong’s band in the late 1940s as was drummer Cozy Cole. Bassist Jack Lesberg played with Satch at a recorded concert in 1947 and was briefly with the All-Stars in 1956 while clarinetist Peanuts Hucko, who also worked a bit with Armstrong in 1947, would become a member of his All-Stars in 1959.
This particular group was previously heard on two CDs from the Jazz Crusade label recorded in England on October 5, 1957. More recently their Paris concert of November 6, 1957, which was only out before on the very obscure Magic Awe label, was reissued by the Sounds Of Yesteryear company. The music is drawn from an afternoon and an evening concert. While the editing is not flawless (Cole’s long drum solo on “Mop Mop” ends abruptly) and the order of the songs seems a bit eccentric, there is some rewarding music to be heard.
The CD begins in an unusual fashion with a Jack Lesberg bass feature on “Lullaby Of The Leaves.” The first of two versions of “Royal Garden Blues” has some fireworks although both renditions are predictable and similar. The highpoints of the CD are Earl Hines’ features on “Boogie Woogie On St. Louis Blues” (with his endless trill) and particularly “April Showers.” When he was inspired, Hines could sound so modern and inventive. On “April Showers,” his playing in the extreme upper register of the piano emulates the sound of rain. Kaminsky is mostly in the spotlight during “Tin Roof Blues” while Teagarden’s only feature is on “Stars Fell On Alabama” during which he takes his lone vocal of the album. Hucko has a few good solos (including on “Mop Mop”) without getting an individual showcase.
Although not essential, this CD has its memorable moments, particularly from Earl Hines.
Jack Teagarden/Earl Hines All Stars At The Olympia Theatre Paris
(Sounds Of Yesteryear DSOY 650, 8 selections, TT = 39:36)