[Dixielandjazz] Stan Getz Interview reference to mentor Jack Teagarden

Mike C. mike at michaelcryer.com
Sat Oct 29 17:25:30 PDT 2005

Nice Read Steve. I knew that he was strongly influenced by Lester Young, 
but I never knew of the Teagarden link. But now that I listen to his 
recordings that I own again, it makes sense.

Jack Teagarden had incredible lip flexibility which allowed him to use 
few slide positions than the rest of us mere mortals. He used to play 
baritone before he picked up the trombone.


Steve barbone wrote:
> Jack Teagarden was an early mentor to Stan Getz. Following is an interesting
> bit of information snipped from another jazz chat list, about it. If you
> want the full interview, write me off list.
> One never knows, do one? :-) VBG
> Cheers,
> Steve
> On another chat list,  "Steve Voce" <stevevoce at onetel.com> wrote
> Stan Getz was at the height of his awe-inspiring powers in July 1981
> when I spent a morning sunbathing on a private beach at Nice with him, his
> girlfriend and his acupuncturist. Stan had just begun his protracted divorce
> from Monica (it took about six years). He held the acupuncturist in high
> regard and had brought him with him from the States.
> 'I have these pains in my back, and he gives me relief from them,' Stan
> told me. The pains perhaps needed not so much relieving as diagnosing, for
> they transpired to be the early manifestations of the lung cancer from which
> Stan was to die.
>   He was at his most genial that day and we met again in the afternoon to
> record an interview for radio. I had my portable Uher reel-to-reel recorder
> of the type used by the BBC. It was not until afterwards when I returned to
> my hotel and tried to play back the tape that I realized that the batteries
> had subsided during our talk. Because the recording had thus slowed down,
> the tape when played back soon raced up to an undecipherable gabble. Stan
> was about to leave for the States, so there was no chance of doing the
> interview again. When I arrived home I tossed the reel to one side.
> It lay un-played for a couple of decades.
> I have just rediscovered it. Here's what I have managed to extract.  I've
> cut out with rigour anything that I can't be certain of deciphering, largely
> because the pattern of the conversation is of my suggestions that Stan's
> playing has changed over the years and him gently proposing that it hasn't.
> -------Start of interview ----
> I had suggested to Stan that his old boss Jack Teagarden had become set in
> his style at an early age and then didn't change his playing much.
> 'I think I'm pretty much the same as Jack Teagarden actually. My playing
> has stayed the same, maybe a little more refined. But it's the music that I
> play and the musicians I play with that change. From when I first began to
> love music my conception of it didn't really vary. I'm affected by young
> musicians that play in my group, and I influence them, of course. I like to
> let them develop in their own way as long as they don't go too far out.
> 'I was 15 when I spent a year with Jack Teagarden. He was so great and
> still sounds that way to me. It doesn't have to be a tenor player that
> influences a tenor player. Jack showed the world how to approach a wind
> instrument and he was a major influence on my playing. He had a wonderful
> sound and he was a major stylist. He had a classical sound, too, a beautiful
> sound. Trombone players today use all seven slide positions. He rarely moved
> out of the second position and he could find any note there.
> 'He became my guardian. He had to for me to go on the road with him. I'd
> left high school at 15 and in America you're not allowed to leave school
> till you're 16. |He wanted to take me with the band to St Louis and he said
> "I'll adopt him," and that's how we got round it.
> 'I was 17 when I heard Lester Young. Then when I was 18 I played a year
> with Benny Goodman and he was another profound influence. And of course
> Charlie Parker and Milers Davis - everyone you hear comes into your frame
> without you knowing it. You don't try to emulate. It goes inwards.
> -----remainder snipped----
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