The title of this album doesn't tell the whole story of this Teddy Wilson album. Instead of And Then They Wrote, it should have been "They Wrote...and Then They Played." Wilson and his trio pay tribute to a number of his fellow piano players who were also composers of some note. There is no attempt here to re-create with any degree of authenticity the way these tunes were performed by their creators. But Wilson couldn't help adding a bit of the stride to James P. Johnson's "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight," and slipping in some of the effervescence that characterized Fats Waller's pianistic style during "Honeysuckle Rose." Major Holley shows off his walking bass on this cut. Wilson includes one of his own pieces, "Sunny Morning," which he used as the theme to introduce his trio in the early '40s. The material on this album is mostly upbeat. But there are more sober moments with Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" and Thelonious Monk's "`Round Midnight," which he smooths out much more than Monk's more angular approach to his most famous composition. Nor is his view of "Misty" as ornate as Erroll Garner's. Most of those honored by Wilson are his peers as he shares the same, or higher, place in the uppermost level of the temple of jazz pianists. Moreover, no matter who or what he was acclaiming, Wilson's place as one of the more sophisticated, suave, and elegant jazz interpreters is not diminished a bit. If you can find this album, grab it.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan