Teddy Wilson

Solo Big Band

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AllMusic Review by

This massive box set collects a wide range of recordings by Teddy Wilson, from early radio transcriptions and broadcasts to sessions the pianist made late in his life for Storyville. Wilson, who left Benny Goodman in 1939 to launch his own ill-fated big band, never achieved commercial success with a large ensemble, though he produced plenty of enjoyable music. The band lacked the showmanship of its competition and Wilson was always a rather low-key leader on-stage, though he features trumpeter Shorty Baker and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster to good effect. The sextet session from 1944 includes most of his regular group at the time, with Emmett Berry, Bennie Morton, Edmond Hall, and Sid Catlett, plus Slam Stewart taking over on bass. Wilson is at his best in trio and solo sessions, though he was not one to give a lot of solo space to his sidemen. While Wilson's style didn't evolve significantly away from his brand of elegant swing, he was a consummate entertainer throughout his career, especially in the 1983 nightclub trio date, where he makes frequent remarks about the background of songs to his audience. An added bonus is a brief DVD of a 13-minute 1940s one-reeler, The Boogie Woogie Dream. Its theme centers around Lena Horne and boogie-woogie pianists Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons cleaning a nightclub after Wilson's set, dreaming of becoming professional musicians. As a result, Wilson's role is rather minor compared to the others, and while the plot is dated and somewhat insulting, the music is enjoyable, especially the boogie-woogie duets featuring Johnson and Ammons. Even if Teddy Wilson fans have many of the individual discs that make up this set, they will find it to be an essential purchase.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:02
2 2:36
3 2:58
4 3:44
5 2:53
6 2:44
7 1:51
8 2:53
9 3:16
10 3:11
11 1:58
12 3:00
13 2:25
14 2:49
15 1:42
16 2:12
17 1:04
18 2:51
19 2:31
20 2:28
21 2:28
22 2:39
23 2:27
24 2:41
25 2:20
26 2:32
27 2:18
28 2:33
29 2:27
30 2:37
31 2:50

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:53
2 2:33
3 2:57
4 2:31
5 2:38
6 2:26
7 4:51
8 3:06
9 4:12
10 4:44
11 4:50
12 3:37
13 3:42
14 4:53
15 2:59
16 4:09
17 3:28
18 4:21
19 3:47
20 3:19
21 4:58

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:15
2 3:15
3 4:52
4 4:34
5 6:08
6 6:12
7 7:22
8 6:10
9 6:40
10 4:06
11 5:28
12 2:57
13 4:25
14 4:32

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:31
2 2:50
3 2:50
4 1:54
5 2:50
6 2:09
7 3:23
8 3:09
9 2:17
10 0:28
11 2:09
12 3:40
13 3:51
14 4:12
15 0:44
16 1:32
17
4:10
18 2:20
19 1:54
20 3:55
21 4:02
22 2:57
23 3:43
24 5:14
25 3:02
26 4:08
27 1:37

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:18
2 1:36
3 2:18
4 2:25
5 2:02
6 2:32
7 2:00
8 2:18
9 2:22
10 2:07
11 3:35
12 3:45
13 3:45
14 5:03
15 4:12
16 3:15
17 3:47
18 1:27
19 2:40
20 3:32
21 2:43
22 2:11

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:58
2 5:16
3 3:19
4 6:15
5 3:55
6 4:41
7 3:22
8 4:25
9 3:28
10 3:58
11 5:00
12 4:49
13 6:01
14 2:58
15 2:56
16 3:54

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:06
2 3:03
3 3:20
4 3:02
5 3:44
6 4:14
7 4:19
8 2:25
9 2:47
10 3:20
11 3:40
12 3:32
13 4:00
14 4:26
15 4:41
16 3:36
17 5:29
18 5:00

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:02
2 3:44
3 2:25
4 2:40
5 2:25
6 2:30
7 6:07
8 4:26
9 3:08
10 3:50
11 3:42
12 3:10
13 3:09
14 3:40
15 5:26
16 2:29
17 1:39
18 3:42
19 5:07
blue highlight denotes track pick