Teddy Wilson

Teddy Wilson and His All-Stars [Columbia]

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Pianist Teddy Wilson's most famous recordings of the 1930s as a leader are the ones in which he is joined by Billie Holiday, so it is a pleasure to have a double LP dominated by the lesser known -- but often quite exciting -- instrumentals performed by his all-star groups. Holiday is heard on six of these selections and Ella Fitzgerald on two others, but otherwise, the emphasis is on the hot soloing of such major swing stars as trumpeters Cootie Williams, Roy Eldridge, Jonah Jones, Frankie Newton, Buck Clayton, Harry James (heard at his best on "Just a Mood" and "Honeysuckle Rose"), and Bill Coleman, clarinetists Benny Goodman, Buster Bailey, and Pee Wee Russell, altoist Johnny Hodges, baritonist Harry Carney, and the tenors of Ben Webster and Chu Berry among others. This two-fer is well worth searching for.