Teddy Wilson

His Piano and His Orchestra [ASV/Living Era]

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AllMusic Review by

Living Era presents a core sample of great jazz recordings made under the leadership of Teddy Wilson between July 2, 1935 and July 30, 1937. This was a particularly fertile period for jazz in general and for Teddy Wilson in particular. Part of the wonderment that the listener is likely to experience is derived from the instrumentation. Wilson's bands were consistently packed with brilliant improvisers. Within the confines of this one compilation are trumpeters Buck Clayton, Roy Eldridge, Henry "Red" Allen, Jonah Jones, Frankie Newton and Harry James; here is trombonist Benny Morton and reedmen Benny Goodman, Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Buster Bailey, Chu Berry and Lester Young. Some of these performances feel like emanations from satellite modules connected with the orchestras of Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Three selections -- "I'm Coming Virginia," "Coquette" and "I've Found a New Baby" -- are instrumentals. The rest of the songs feature vocals by Midge Williams, Helen Ward, Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald and, most emphatically, Billie Holiday. It was as Teddy Wilson's preferred singer that Lady Day developed her unique and unforgettable style. True to Living Era's penchant for scrambled chronologies, this compilation ends with three titles that predate everything else; they are also the first records on which Billie Holiday ever sang.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:11
2 2:50
3 3:11
4 3:10
5 3:06
6 3:01
7 2:43
8 3:05
9
feat: Helen Ward
3:19
10 3:15
11 2:45
12 2:55
13 2:41
14 3:14
15
feat: Roy Eldridge
2:58
16 2:59
17 2:55
18 2:58
blue highlight denotes track pick