Teddy Wilson

Hall of Fame [Box Set]

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AllMusic Review by

Past Perfect is an imprint of TIM The International Music Company AG, a German company that specializes in multi-disc sets of unlicensed recordings by vintage artists, taking advantage of the 50-year copyright limit on recordings in Europe. Past Perfect's Hall of Fame series presents five-CD box sets that, as the cover note claims, "incl. 40-page booklet." Thus, here we have more than five hours of early Teddy Wilson recordings made between 1934 and 1946. The material has been transferred from records originally released by such labels as Brunswick, Columbia, and Musicraft. The selections include tracks by the Wilson-led studio band of the 1930s that backed Billie Holiday, as well as material by Wilson's big band of the late '30s and early '40s, solo piano performances, and small groups later in the '40s. In addition to Holiday, the guest vocalists include Lena Horne, Helen Ward, and Sarah Vaughan, and the musicians are a who's who of swing stars, among them Dave Barbour, Chu Berry, Don Byas, Benny Carter, Doc Cheatham, Buck Clayton, Cozy Cole, Roy Eldridge, Benny Goodman, Freddie Green, Bobby Hackett, Johnny Hodges, Jo Jones, Benny Morton, Red Norvo, Walter Page, Pee Wee Russell, Charlie Shavers, Ben Webster, and Lester Young. The booklet does indeed run 40 pages, and the 30 of those pages devoted to prose are closely printed. But the unsigned essay, like that for other Hall of Fame boxes, is an odd one, and not only because the phrasing is sometimes stilted (as if it had been written in a language other than English and then translated), but also because the essay contains factual errors, and the text and other credits are littered with typos, misspellings, and other minor errors. Needless to say, a jazz fan looking for a comprehensive box set of Wilson's work with coherent commentary should look elsewhere, but a casual fan interested in obtaining a big chunk of Wilson's music at a modest price could do worse.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:03
2 3:20
3 3:05
4 3:06
5 3:05
6
feat: Nancy Wilson
2:59
7 3:01
8 2:52
9 2:57
10 2:33
11 2:33
12 2:36
13 3:03
14 2:19
15 3:00
16 2:39
17 2:59
18 2:46
19 3:04
20 3:15
21 3:09

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:56
2 2:52
3 3:01
4 2:44
5 3:13
6 3:11
7 2:49
8 2:47
9
feat: Nancy Wilson
3:02
10 3:03
11 2:59
12 3:04
13 2:54
14
feat: John Wilson
3:14
15 3:08
16 2:48
17 2:38
18 2:09
19 3:11
20 2:55
21 2:42

Track Listing - Disc 5

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:55
2 2:41
3 2:59
4
feat: Nancy Wilson
2:56
5
feat: Nancy Wilson
3:05
6 2:37
7 3:06
8 2:23
9 2:12
10 2:39
11 2:54
12 2:28
13 2:52
14 2:36
15 2:22
16 3:10
17 2:56
18
feat: Nancy Wilson
2:38
19 2:31
20 2:19
21 2:35
22 2:31
blue highlight denotes track pick