Document JPCD-1509-2 Teddy Bunn (1929 – 1940)
Teddy Bunn, vocal, guitar.
Includes: Spencer Williams, vocal; James P. Johnson, piano; Buck Franklin, vocal; Mezz Mezzrow, clarinet, Tommy Ladnier, trumpet; Sidney De Paris, trumpet; Pops Foster, stand-up bass; Fat Hayden, vocal; Sam Price, piano; Walter Pichon, vocal, piano; Henry “Red” Allen.
Genres: Jazz, Jazz Guitar.
Booklet notes by Ken Romanowski
Born in the Long Island suburb Freeport, New York in 1909, Theodore Leroy Bunn was already surrounded by music, as both parents played keyboard instruments and his brother was a violinist.
His first professional experience was as an accompanist to a calypso singer, but by the time he was 20 he was recording with the biggest names in the jazz field.
His earliest appearance on record seems to have been the two tracks accompanying Walter Pichon included on this CD, immediately followed that same day by four tracks with Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra where Bunn substituted on guitar for Fred Guy, Ellington’s regular banjoist.
In late 1929 Bunn recorded with the Six Jolly Jesters (a small Ellington group), and James P. Johnson’s orchestra with King Oliver and Fats Waller. Bunn continued to freelance throughout the 30’s recording with such jazz greats as Johnny Dodds, Jimmie Noone and J.C. Higgenbotham, blues singers Georgia White, Cow Cow Davenport, Trixie Smith and Johnny Temple, but is probably best remembered as a member of the Spirits of Rhythm. Six of the tracks included here come from his work with this band. They are delightful examples of a style already a decade out of vogue, but whose players continued to exhibit remarkable empathy in their performances, including several fine swinging guitar solos and a wonderfully understated vocal by Bunn on If You See Me Comin“.