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Herb Jefferies: The Bronze Buckeroo Rides Again

Okay, so what’s a record on the Warner Western label with a Buckaroo moniker doing between the pages of this respectable jazz magazine? If you don’t know Herb Jeffries, then you should. His limpid vocal tones graced many a jazz bandstand, including most notably that of Duke Ellington, years ago. In the late ’30s-that’s right, I said ’30s – he found a niche as sort of a sepia Gene Autry in a series of cowboy movies aimed at the “race” audience. These were C movies according to Jeffries’ recent accounts, however they gave him a certain cachet, and now nearly 50 years later some quirky exec at Warners has shown fit to resurrect this cornerstone of Jeffries’ career on disc.

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