How can a band that recorded so prolifically be so shrouded in mystery? That's the paradox of the Washboard Rhythm Kings, a hot aggregation that at times featured trumpeter Taft Jordan and guitarist Teddy Bunn, along with a bizarre assortment of other musicians of mixed ability. Many of the musicians' identities are uncertain, some entirely unknown, yet there are dozens of recordings by the group under various pseudonyms.
What's most pleasing about the Washboard Rhythm Kings is their dual nature - they are wholly entertainers, singing bawdy lyrics and clowning audibly on their records, yet there is no doubt they are playing undiluted hot jazz. If only more musicians, past AND present, could find this balance!
Exhibit A - 'Hummin' to Myself':
Exhibit B - 'Tiger Rag'. To listen to the alto sax breaks and the tenor sax solo is to hear one of the chief inspirations of Australian sax stylist Ade Monsbourgh:
Exhibit C - 'Blue Drag':