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Revisits the Goodman Years

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Album Review

Teddy Wilson remained the consummate swinger throughout his career, with an instantly recognizable sound. This expanded Storyville CD, recorded during a visit to Denmark in 1980, features the pianist in a studio date with bassist Jesper Lundgaard and expatriate drummer Ed Thigpen. The original LP and a 1987 CD reissue contained a dozen tracks that Wilson played often while working with Benny Goodman during the 1930s. It's easy to dig his effortless tenths in the upbeat treatment of "'S Wonderful," the elegant interpretation of "More Than You Know," and his graceful rendition of "Sweet Lorraine." This expanded 2005 reissue adds six more tunes that were initially issued on a different album, though Wilson ventures into at least one song he never recorded with Goodman, a brisk romp through "I'll Remember April." Wilson stumbles a bit in "Don't Be That Way," but quickly covers himself with his improvising. Lundgaard, one of the better bassists living in Europe, acquits himself quite well as a soloist and member of the rhythm section. The masterful Ed Thigpen sticks to playing brushes and keeps the session flowing. This all-around fine effort by Teddy Wilson is well worth the attention of swing fans.


Born: 24 November 1912 in Austin, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Teddy Wilson was the definitive swing pianist, a solid and impeccable soloist whose smooth and steady style was more accessible to the general public than Earl Hines or Art Tatum. He picked up early experience playing with Speed Webb in 1929 and appearing on some Louis Armstrong recordings in 1933. Discovered by John Hammond, Willie joined Benny Carter's band and recorded with the Chocolate Dandies later that year. In 1935, he began leading a series of classic small-group recordings with swing all-stars...
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