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Allan Songer

Just in case you forgot how bad he really was, vol. 19

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WOW, what rich timbre, soulful phrasing, and tender dynamics.

Allan, do you have a suggested disc or collection for Mr. Edwards?

Michael

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Start with the classic albums on Contemporary from the early 60's. If I had to pick one it would be Teddy's Ready!

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Another tasty treat from Teddy Edwards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m3FSRvQCRs&feature=related

Teddy is my all-time favorite player. I heard him perform live at least 50 times (maybe closer to 100) from the 70's until his death. I went to his final gig, a big band date with strings at Spazio about 2-3 months before he passed. I still miss him--he was the best . . .

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Allan,

Thanks. These in case you forgot links are excellent.

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I love every Teddy Edwards album I've ever heard. In addition to the LPs suggested by Allan, a couple other favorites of mine are "Its About Time" on Pacific Jazz, 1959 and a Jimmy Smith album called "Bluesmith."

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Teddy was really a great player, a wonderful man and someone who NEVER got the respect that was due him. He was the FIRST, the VERY FIRST man to record hard core bebop on the tenor sax with the 1947 Dial recording of "Up in Dodo's Room" with Dodo Marmaroso and also released on Dial "Blues in Teddy's Flat" later that year, which may have been the best selling DIAL 78 ever--selling MORE than the great Charlie Parker 78s from the same era.

In the early 50's Teddy went on to be the lead tenor in the 'Lighthouse All Stars" and his tune "Sunset Eyes" was the theme song for the group but he was fired by Howard Rumsey when a bunch of ex-Kenton guys drifted into the group and the band took on a more "cool" sound with Bob Cooper on tenor. Teddy then went on to become an original member of the Max Roach - Clifford Brown unit and he appears on their first 10" LP on GRP records which includes a kickass verson of "Sunset Eyes." But when Roach and Brown wanted to take the group to New York, Teddy passed as he wanted to stay in LA with his wife and infant son. So Harold Land replaced him in the band and the rest is history.

By the late 50's Teddy was barely making it in LA, having to play strip clubs and scratching for any gig he could get. He started getting recording gigs with Contemporary and Pacific Jazz and also become the star attraction in the Gerald Wilson big band. This period from 1958 through about 1963 was a great time for Teddy, as he also went on the road with Benny Goodman as the lead tenor. All of his records from this period are EXCELLENT and you wouldn't go wrong buying any or all of them.

After having not recorded for about 5 years, Teddy signed with Prestige and put out two really excellent LPs in 1966-67 that didn't sell well at all. It would be 8 years before he would record again for Muse (one LP) and then many more years would go by before he really got on a roll in the late 80's and early 90's, putting out one really fine record after another until the end of his life.

Teddy never left LA and it was a real treat to hear him in the local clubs, as he played on average about 2-3 gigs a month around LA throughout the 80's and 90's. I caught LOTS and LOTS of them and he never gave less than everything he had. We even became email pals when he got "on line" the last 5-6 years of his life. He was a wonderful man and the best tenor I ever heard . . .

Glad you enjoyed the clips! Now go buy some of his albums!

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That 'Lover Man' clip is awesome, great tone and control. Stick around for the last runs in the final minute- Teddy KILLS it! Tasty stuff.

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Funny story:

The last time I talked to Teddy was at his final gig at Spazio. Teddy led a big band that night, his "Brass String Ensemble" which featured Herman Riley on tenor. Teddy was pretty weak by this time and Herman (another REALLY GREAT LA based tenor who passed away a couple of years ago) took most of the tenor solos. I was in the john at intermission when Teddy and Herman walked in, Teddy took my place at the urinal and while I was washing my hands and Herman was waiting, Teddy looked over his shoulder and said in that sweet Missisippi drawl of his "Herman! You really blew the SH!T out of that last solo!!!" It's my final memory of Teddy--gracious and funny right to the end . . .

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Great story!

Now, I have GOT to stop watching old Jazz videos and get back to work!!![:(]

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Gary you mention Jimmy Smith, the great Hammond organ grinder. Always loved his version of Midnight Special. Check out this video. Starting at 3:30 is Midnight Special. Sadly Jimmy has also passed. I have an old Hammond, now if I could only play like Jimmy! Now I've got to find "Bluesmith" with Teddy and Jimmy for my collection!

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