(Piano, composer, arranger) 1912-1944
Bob Zurke came to the attention of jazz collectors as the featured pianist with the Bob Crosby band. He had replaced another fine soloist, Joe Sullivan and like Sullivan he had a formal music training and was an excellent reader. His qualities as a musician quickly made him an important member of the band and his solo performance on Crosby's "Honky Tonk Train Blues", recorded in late 1938 gave the band its biggest hit.
He received something of a dishonourable discharge from Crosby due to his private life and in 1939 set about forming his own band which is comprehensively presented on this collection. With the exception of trumpeter Sterling Bose, the band lacked strong soloists but still had a compact swing style not that different from his erstwhile employer Bob Crosby. He also was able to exploit his own compositions such as "Hobson Street Blues", "Tomcat on the Keys", and "Nickel Nabber Blues".
By mid 1940 it was clear that his band was not making money and he gave it up. For the next three or four years he moved around the country working as a soloist and died in February 1944. The performances on this collection underline his stature as a soloist and the band plays with great conviction.< Top
"Honky Tonk Train Blues"
1939/40 Studio Recordings.
Titles - Southern Exposure / It's Me Again / Each Time You Say Goodbye / Hobson Street Blues / Melancholy Mood / Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea / Honky Tonk Train Blues / I've Found A New Baby / Faithful Forever / Tomcat On The Keys / It's A Hap Hap Happy Day / Everybody Step / Fit To Be Tied / Peach Tree Street / Cuban Boogie Woogie / On A Little Street In Singapore / Somebody Told Me / Between 18th And 19th Chestnut Street / Pinch Me / Holy Smoke / Nickel Nabber Blues / I Want My Mama / You Hit My Heart With A Bang / Tea For Two / I Love You Much Too Much / I'm Losing My Mind / Cow Cow Blues / Rhumboogie.
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