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Teddy Wilson

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 which on many occasions featured Billie Holiday. That was also the year that an informal jam session with Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa resulted in the formation of the Benny Goodman Trio (Lionel Hampton made the group a quartet the following year). Although he was a special added attraction rather than a regular member of the orchestra, Wilson's public appearances with Goodman broke important ground in the long struggle against segregation.

Between his own dates, many recordings with Benny Goodman's small groups and a series of piano solos, Teddy Wilson recorded a large number of gems during the second half of the 1930s. He left B.G. in 1939 to form his own big band but, despite some fine records, it folded in 1940. Wilson led a sextet at Cafe Society during 1940-1944, taught music at Juilliard during the summers of 1945-1952, appeared on radio shows, and recorded regularly with a trio, as a soloist and with pick-up groups in addition to having occasional reunions with Goodman. Teddy Wilson's style never changed, and he played very similar in 1985 to how he sounded in 1935; no matter, the enthusiasm and solid sense of swing were present up until the end. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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prsfmail-man
Hey Scott: Teddy Wilson deserves a more thorough and detailed bio. Always remember to list their birth and death years. Please.
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Sweet & easy listening
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what a great musician!
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WOW!
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prsfmail-man
In 1978 Mr. Wilson held residency at the piano in the entrance lounge at the Copley Square Hotel. I was so fortunate to sit at the piano and listen to this Giant in Jazz Piano and have him all to myself. Most people passing through the hotel lobby had no idea who this was. So grateful.
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Great very fine piano playing ,To be enjoyed
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pineroad
who is the vocalist? sounds like Nan Wyn.
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Smoooooooooo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o t h ! ! ! ! ! :-D
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Me like too.
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clogan7536
The greatest! Small groups in 30s--Wilson, G o o d m a n , Hampton, Holiday, Young, etc. Can't beat that that music..
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Easy listening.
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noodlespoodl e s
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you have started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
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Teddy Wilson was so amazing and I feel like the best I have heard were the songs that he was playing while with Billie Holiday. I am at a bit of a loss though as I am having a hard time actually finding out if he was the pianist with certain pieces while recording with her band. If anyone has any ideas other than googling as a tool, any help would be appreciated.
Joe T.
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Super cool.
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Loved hearing him at Rick's in Chicago in the 70's. Great player and gentleman.
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Damn fine piano player!
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Quite a talent.
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shumate.jimm y
I love his style. I got to see him up close and personal after a concert in Pittsburgh in 1953. JLS
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Sorry Charlie. Us tuna's don't just taste good, we have good taste too! DMB
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GREAT MUSIC
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gshanley3
I grew up listening spellbound and he was a big influence on my own piano work with college bands. ( which helped put me through college!)
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Love him!
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franmiller.3 3 1
Teddy Wilson's music touched my heart and soul.
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kelllargo
Love this Man!!!
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My father-In-La w in Indy used to see TW whenever Teddy was performing In Indianapolis and still mentions him with reverence.
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wow......
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Now this is jazz
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Elegance and taste.
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Smooth modulations.
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Teddy Wilson; the consummate talent. He had such a prodigious touch in all of his performances .
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SWING
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Extraordinar y !
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jfw91250
The best combo pianist of the time.
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HIS JAZZ ROCKS!!!!!!
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kelllargo
he is the GREATIST!
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grooovy music wish I had been there for alive performances
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Check out the albums he made with Lester Young and also accompanying Billie Holiday.
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Bob Gilson
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Teddy Wilson is one of the best jazz combo piano players ever. He is probably best known for playing in the Benny Goodman trio, quartet and sextet. He may be the first black jazz musician brought on stage by a white big band leader, Benny Goodman.
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He was my favorite and I am glad I had a chance to meet him.
Claire Gordon
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SMOOOOOOOTH! ! How do I get more instrumental s like this?
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He was the greatest swing pianist and never smiled because he considered what he was doing sacred. Listen for the left hand , marvelous

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