Corona [Queens], New York: February 6, 1956.
2 pp., on two sheets of “Satchmo” letterhead, with numerous corrections in pen in the text of the letter. 4to. “I hope Jack Teagarden blows his horn for ever. He’s my man”. Single vertical fold; the two sheets stapled. Very good. Item #248243
One of the most resonant statements imaginable from one musician — in this case, the most important jazz musician of of the 20th century — regarding a cherished friend and cohort. The irrepressible Satchmo writes with uninhibited enthusiasm of his eminent collaborator and long-time friend, trombonist Jack Teagarden, about whom Waters evidently was preparing an article:
“‘O my Gawd — I do hope that I’ve not gone and missed the grandest opportunity that I have been waiting for years … to have the thrill of telling to the wide wide world the exact way that I feel over Jack Teagarden and his trombone playings […] Yea, Jack’s my man […] We have so many musical memories in common … I don’t actually know where to start … First, he’s a Human Being … God knows he is … Every time Jack picks up a trombone, you can bet your bottom dollar that something’s coming out of that horn real pretty. No matter if it's sweet hot jazzy or dixieland … He really moves me whenever he just puts his horn to his chops … the man is just born for the trombone […] The trombones were all made to blend with the Jackson first ; And that’s the way it is with Ol Satchmo until some one will prove to me that I am wrong […]
“When i said Jack’s a Human, what I personally mean by that is, he impressed me, more than just a musician … He’s the type of Ofay Boy that you (a negroe) can work with the rest of your life and there'll never be any thing but good music and the fondest of appreciation of each other. In other words, he can’t be not a thing but our boy and Idol […]
“P.S. Out on the south side of Chicago where the Regal and the Savoy used to romp, years ago, a colored fellow who had just read in the evening newspapers where Louis Armstrong and his All Stars are getting ready to make a long long tour, all through the South. This young man made it his business to ask me right away … Is Jack Teagarden going on the southern tour with you, Satch? Immediately I answered him, saying, sure Jack’s going on the tour , furthermore, who am I to tell a white man that he can’t go south …P.S. It slayed that cat …
“Am yours musically, and I hope that Jack Teagarden blows his horn for ever. He’s my man, personified. Wow.”.
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