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Three Little Words (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions (Nice, France 1976))

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Album Review

There is an unusual setting for this Teddy Wilson trio date: an open-air studio in Nice, France. As a result, the ambience is a bit different outdoors, while birds can be heard occasionally in the background. This is hardly a distraction for Wilson and two fellow veterans, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Oliver Jackson, who make their way through 14 standards that they had likely played hundreds of times during their long careers. Highlights include a lush treatment of "You Go to My Head," a cheerful midtempo romp through "Flying Home" (with a superb solo by Hinton), and a blistering take of "Undecided." While Teddy Wilson didn't modify his style much during his career, this outdoor recording is one of his most interesting studio efforts.

Biography

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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