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Of Thee I Swing

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Album Review

Hep's Teddy Wilson series sticks to his all-star band sides (skipping his solo piano performances), many of which feature the vocals of Billie Holiday. This entry starts with a pair of vocals by the long-forgotten Redd Harper ("You Turned the Tables on Me" and "Sing, Baby, Sing"), has two spots for the talented singer Midge Williams and also a couple of instrumentals; otherwise, the set is comprised of Holiday vocals that are readily available in more complete form elsewhere. The highlight is Lady Day's first recorded meeting with tenor saxophonist Lester Young and trumpeter Buck Clayton which resulted in "He Ain't Got Rhythm," "This Year's Kisses," "Why Was I Born," and "I Must Have That Man."


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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