The emergence of Jack Teagarden as an important jazz stylist was a significant feature of the ‘20s jazz scene. He brought a maturity to the sound of the trombone and until late in his life played with a laconic grace that few, if any, on his instrument have equaled. His collaboration with Louis Armstrong—who rated their musical relationship higher than any he had known—was one of the great partnerships in jazz history. The story of this funny, happy Texan is told with affection and detail in this, the only biography of Jack Teagarden.“Obviously a man like Teagarden, with his mastery of his instrument, might have stepped into almost any kind of music and made a career for himself. But one thing this book makes clear is that Jack could not have been any kind of musician except a jazz musician. A jazz musician simply has to make his music and dedicate his life to it, even though he may not tell you (or himself) why he has to. He may not, indeed, even be able to say why, or need to say why. The need is to make music and, necessarily, lead the life that makes that possible. All of which has little or nothing to do with ego or acclaim or money. He needs to give his music to the world and he hopes the world will understand.You will find out about that need in these pages. You will also find plenty of the pranks and boys-will-be-boys anecdotes that seem so prevalent, diverting, and (under the surface) necessary a part of the musical life.”—Martin Williams, from his new preface.