The Complete Roulette Jack Teagarden Sessions (#218)

Mosaic Records Limited Edition Box Set


The Complete Roulette Jack Teagarden Sessions (#218)
"The immaculate execution of either free ensembles or written arrangements, the emphasis on cleanness, the balance of hot and pretty – this group could well have written the contemporary Dixieland book.” – Jim Leigh, The Mississippi Rag
Limited Edition: 5000 copies

4 CDs -  $68.00


Two Hours of Teagarden We Never Knew Existed!

He was a musician beyond category, admired by critics, musicians and listeners alike for the gorgeous, delicate solos he fashioned in the trombone's upper register, working his slide with a loping gait all his own. While many musicians appreciated his gift, none could approach his uncomplicated virtuosity, his clarity of musical thought, and his graceful phrasing.

A night in July 1959 will be the most telling legacy of the Jack Teagarden sextet with trumpeter Don Goldie, clarinetist Henry Cuesta, pianist Don Ewell, bassist Stan Puls and drummer Ronnie Greb. Twenty-one new discoveries have been added to the original eight performances on Teagarden's "At The Roundtable" album.

The same group recorded the aptly titled "Jazz Maverick" in the studio in January 1960. A year later, with Barrett Deems at the drums, they recorded twenty-four pieces, five of which are issued here for the first time. The rest appeared on "The Dixie Sound Of Jack Teagarden" and the posthumously issued "A Portrait Of Mr. T".

Especially on the live material from the Roundtable in New York City, which occupies half of this set, this group's ability to work together and inspire each other to create joyful jazz is especially rewarding.

Read More About Jack Teagarden:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »

"No super group could blend so beautifully and stay on the same emotional page as these six men do. And on the live half of this set, their ability to work together and inspire each other to create joyful jazz is especially rewarding. This sextet would make one more album, the first of Teagarden’s three final LPs – all for Verve. But it is their recorded night at the Roundtable on July 1, 1959 that will be their most telling legacy. " - Scott Wenzel & Michael Cuscuna, liner notes

  • Booklet
  • Audio Quality
  • Photography
  • Sample Session Notes
Joe Showler is, among other things, the greatest collector and authority on all things Teagarden. His heartfelt, detailed story of Jack Teagarden’s life in the ‘50s forms the bulk of this booklet with session analysis by Scott Wenzel and Michael Cuscuna.

In the age of microsizing, every Mosaic Records Box Set booklet is still 11 x 11 inches to allow our customers to appreciate all the extras we put into printing them (and for easier reading).


The sources for these Roulette sessions come from the original master tapes and are wonderfully restored in 24-bit by Malcolm Addey.

Photo Copyright © Protected
Jack Teagarden
All of the photographs, many rare and some unpublished (including a great shot of Tea playing his baritone horn) are from Showler’s vast collection.

At The Roundtable - July 1, 1959

The Roundtable, located at 151 East 50th Street in midtown Manhattan, was owned by Morris Levy, who also founded and owned Birdland and Roulette Records, among other enterprises. His clubs were occasionally the site of live Roulette albums. The Roundtable played host to albums by Tyree Glenn and Woody Herman as well as Teagarden.

What is striking about the Roundtable tapes, heard in their totality, is the consistent and sincere quality of the trombonist’s playing. Based on this night at this club, his only concessions to show biz were a snappy arrangement of South Rampart Street Parade (redeemed here by excellent solos by the hornmen), a spot for Big Noise From Winnetka and the obligatory When The Saints Go Marching In as a seemingly endless drum feature with Goldie doing a faux-Louis vocal.

Only eight of the 39 performances recorded that night were issued on the original album. So we formed an ad hoc committee with Dan Morgenstern to review the wealth of unissued material. If a track got two votes of approval, it appears in the set. Actually, the ten selections left behind as rejected got no votes as the problems of balance, weak solos, clinkers or music that didn’t gel made their exclusion obvious. It’s not everyday you stumble across a couple of hours of unissued Teagarden and we wanted to give it proper consideration.

Among this wealth of unissued quality material were some surprises. Benny Goodman and Mildred Bailey put Frank Loesser’s Junk Man on the map with their February 1934 recording (heard on The Complete Columbia Recordings Of Mildred Bailey - Mosaic MD10-204), but Teagarden cut his own classic instrumental version eight months later with Goodman as sideman (heard on The Complete Okeh and Brunswick Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer and Jack Teagarden Sessions 1924-36 - Mosaic MD7-211). On his 1958 Capitol album Shades Of Night, he recorded a new arrangement with woodwinds. This live version by sextet is closer in spirit to the new treatment. In fact, the band is heard pulling out sheet music before they play it and, except for one trombone clam, they do a beautiful job. The 1951 Rosemary Clooney and Dinah Washington hit Mixed Emotions, also heard here, comes from that Sid Feller-arranged woodwind album.

The only new piece to make the original album was When by Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand. But Teagarden introduced another piece that night on the sixth and last set, done after the audience had left. Riverboat Blues was written in 1955 by his old friend Charlie LaVere with lyrics by Tom Adair for a Disneyland stage show called The Golden Horseshoe Revue. This is the only known commercial recording of the song, and it has been sitting unissued for 44 years. The melody must have been kicking around for some years. Joe Showler spotted that it is identical to Levee Blues, recorded by Jimmy Dorsey on March 7, 1950 with a vocal by Jack’s brother Charlie (heard on Classic Columbia Condon Mob Sessions - Mosaic MD8-206).

That sixth set opened with a most unique reading of Ol’ Man River with Teagarden on baritone horn or euphonium, an instrument that he had played as a child and doubled on with bands in the southwest from 1920 to ’26. Drummer Ronnie Greb recently told Joe Showler that Tea played the instrument occasionally for about three months. The performance is exquisite and the only known recorded example of Tea on this instrument.

Despite the aforementioned trumpet codas, the ballad medleys, I’m Getting Sentimental Over You/I Can’t Get Started and Stars Fell On Alabama/When A Woman Loves A Man are excellent. The theme songs of Tommy Dorsey and Bunny Berigan, which comprise the first medley, would be recorded as separate pieces on the final Roulette session.

Teagarden announces Lover as a tune he’d recorded on Paul Whiteman’s 50th Anniversary album a few years earlier. But his best-known version was as a trombone feature with Louis Armstrong and the All Stars in 1947, issued on Satchmo At Symphony Hal. Joe Showler believes clarinetist Sol Yaged, who played on Tea’s 1954 Urania version of the song, is the unidentified sitter-in on the spirited version recorded here.

A previously unissued instrumental version of St. James Infirmary finds the perfect tempo and groove and offers solos superior to the issued vocal version. Check out Goldie’s Angel Eyes quote.

Added to the great performance of Honeysuckle Rose which appeared on the original album is another Don Ewell feature, W.C. Handy’s Atlanta Blues, which would be re-recorded on the final Roulette studio session.

What’s really surprising is the number of excellent previously unissued performances of standard New Orleans fare. The rhythm section, led by Ewell, is close-knit, tasteful and always swinging; Teagarden guides Goldie and Cuesta in excellent ensembles. One need only hear the opening number That’s A Plenty to hear how this band can breathe new life into familiar territory; the groove is unstoppable and the out chorus is an absolute joy. Original Dixieland One-Step sparkles from first note to last with an exceptional Ewell solo which seems to inspire Goldie and Cuesta to rise to the occasion, as they do on Sweet Georgia Brown. The trumpeter also shines on Tin Roof Blues and Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home.


Click here to write a review

  Excellent Set
I don't understand why there are so many so-so reviews of this set. This is not only one of the most consistently great Mosaic sets, it contains some of the finest music Teagarden ever recorded.
This band could cook!! The musicianship is superb and the arrangements are tight and lively. Fun, upbeat music!
  I'm not a huge Dixieland fan...but I am glad I have this set!
I am more of a swing and bop/hard bop fan, but Tea, Goldie and others play with heart, beauty and humor. I actually very much like Teagarden's vocals and wish there were more in the set! I don't agree that the band sounds tired on the Roundtable recordings, they sound fine and inspired at times. This is beautiful music, Folks! Excellent musicianship and SOUND QUALITY in this set
  Mr. T & Friends
Sweet set, lotsa heart and soul.
  A treat of a set
There is something incredibly pleasant and satisfying about this music. Aside from the peerless Henry Cuesta, which was the original reason I bought this, Teagarden is the only jazz trombonist who's worth a listen in my book (coming from someone who used to play one). I love his singing too. In response to a previous review, I regard the live tracks as the best part of this box set.
  Working Band
Nice to hear a working band - the rapport is a treat. Teagarden's trombone playing is top notch, some of his vocals are not his best. Overall, the instrumental playing is good to excellent, the vocals are fair to excellent. Enjoying the set. Don Ewell on piano is also top notch.
This set is a pleasure to listen to again and again. Henry Cuesta's version of Estrellita is superb, which starts out with a cadenza written for him by his cousin Ernie Caceres; beautiful recording. Thanks Mosaic!
I listen to his set often. There's something very warm and comforting about Teagarden's music. When I'm feeling a little blue, this is the set I reach for.
  No doubt
Jack was a cool dude, no doubt about it. I play this music and my mother's wig twirls around and around. Good stuff.
  A Pleasure
I enjoy this set immensely. If you like Teagarden, this is very good Teagarden playing with very good bands. This is a pleasure of a set.
  The Legendary Jack Teagarden?
Nothing like the man. His horn makes every tune smooth and beautiful. Anyone know if this contains the same material as on the 2 LP "The Legendary Jack Teagarden" (ROULETTE 2682 034) Please let me know at " ".
  Good but not essential
This set is only for dedicated JT fans who want it all, or Mosaic addicts like me. If you are neither, it is safe to pass this set. Particurly the previously unreleased live tracks, difficult to rate them even 3-stars. In this case, one can see why only eight were originally released. Good music, but nothing essential in this.
  Doesn't get any better than this
Big T is in excellent form and the sound is absolutely unbelievable. If you're a fan of Jack Teagarden's -- especially his work in small groups -- it just doesn't get any better than this! Thanks Mosaic, you've done it again.
I get home from work put on a Teagarden disc, put my feet up on the coffee table, and just listen as my work day dissolves away. This is soulful, refreshing music, deep and light.
  A wish come true
Years ago I suggested to Mosaic that they consider the Roulette recordings of Jack Teagarden, and their reply was not too encouraging. But here it is, and it's better than imagined because of the newly discovered live material. Excellent material from a working band that really WORKED in all sense of the word! And the record is straight: that is NOT Armstrong on "Rocking Chair" but in fact Don Goldie singing, doing HIS Armstrong shtick. It sounds like Armstrong, a little. . . !
  more mr.t
i just purchased the Roulette sessions and enjoyed it so much that i hope mosaic will re-issue mr.t's capital sessions and any others possible. the reproduction on these cd's is phenomenal
  Constant Companion
Just to set the record straight, Armstrong plays on "Rockin' Chair," the 3rd track on disc four, which is a studio recording. I agree it is a surprise, and a wonderful one at that. Hey, this set has been played constantly since I opened the box. I didn't know that Don Ewell (on piano) was so good. I've always loved Teagarden's trombone and vocals - four new discs of first rate Teagarden in my collection is reason for celebration.
  Surprises Too
Very satisfied with this set. This is not Jack Teagarden and his back-up band - this is an excellent band with soloists who are more than capable of nudging Teagarden. Don Ewell on piano and Don Goldie on trumpet are especially strong soloists. The big surprise in this set is the latter half of the third disc and all of the fourth disc when Barrett Deems is the drummer on some of the studio session work. Wow - the band clicks into another level, the sound is sharp and Teagarden is at his best. All of the discs are a treat - the two live ones, and the two studio ones. Louis Armstrong guest appears on an outstanding studio track, another surpise. This is the lovely, laid back Teagarden playing with a band that emotionally attuned to their leader. Happy I am. This box set is wonderful company.
  Teagarden is TERRIFIC

The Complete Roulette Jack Teagarden Sessions (#218)
The Complete Roulette Jack Teagarden Sessions (#218)
Limited Edition: 5000 copies
4 CDs - $68.00

Customer Reviews:

"Big T is in excellent form and the sound is absolutely unbelievable. If you're a fan of Jack Teagarden's -- especially his work in small groups -- it just doesn't get any better than this! Thanks Mosaic, you've done it again."
Read More Reviews »

Audio Clips

Play: In The Dark

Play: St. James Infirmiry

Play: Lover

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Limited Edition Photographs

Selected images became the album cover shots for Blue Note's brilliant designer Reid Miles, and are instantly recognized by millions. Now, museum-quality prints in limited editions can be owned forever... But only by a few.

Each image will be made available for one month only. At the end of that month, only the images ordered will be printed and that will be the end of the Limited Edition.