Teddy Bunn

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Teddy Bunn, name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!" (1966) under the heading "These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them", was one of the top jazz guitarists of the 30s, a fine single-note acoustic guitar soloist. Largely self-taught, Bunn first gained recognition when he recorded with Duke Ellington in 1929 and played with the Washboard Rhythm Kings in the late-'20s / early-'30s period. A few years later he was one of the stars with the Spirits of Rhythm (which played regularly at the Onyx Club). During 1938-40 Bunn recorded with Jimmie Noone, Johnny Dodds, Trixie Smith, J.C. Higginbotham, Sidney Bechet, Lionel Hampton and was on the famous Mezz Mezzrow-Tommy Ladnier sessions; in addition he made four unaccompanied solos for Blue Note. Switching to electric guitar Bunn led his own groups in the 1940s and rejoined the Spirits of Rhythm; in the '50s he played R&B with a variety of groups (including Jack McVea, Edgar Hayes and Louis Jordan). Although fairly obscure after the early '40s, Bunn worked regularly until the late '60s when health problems forced his retirement.