Arthur Edwards

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Born in Fort Worth early in the 20th century, Arthur Edwards played both jazz and blues, making the scene in at least 20 diverse settings in the former genre. If the Texas blues scene was a morgue, an…
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Born in Fort Worth early in the 20th century, Arthur Edwards played both jazz and blues, making the scene in at least 20 diverse settings in the former genre. If the Texas blues scene was a morgue, an autopsy on one VIP cadaver in particular would reveal Edwards at the heart. Any transplant or replacement waiting in the wings would have to be of at least equal genre type to suit the requirements of singer and guitarist T-Bone Walker, a discussion that is really all about one word: swing. Blues bassists can conceivably be divided into two groups, the ones who do and the ones who don't -- according to at least one snobbish Texas critic, the ones who don't played in bands that don't swing and the rest played with T-Bone Walker.

Edwards' sound -- he could thump like an elephant taking a short cut through a pantry -- had its origins in the type of firm orchestral bassist and on-the-job dance band training provided in the '30s in towns such as Ardmore, OK, and Marshall, TX. This artist subsequently worked his way across the country to the West Coast in various touring big-band outfits: two key associations were with Bud Scott up to the mid-'40s and the talented Horace Henderson from 1947 through 1953. Edwards then began playing with trumpeter Teddy Buckner, with whom he recorded a fine tribute to Louis Armstrong in the mid-'50s. Meanwhile, the bassist was also part of the creative map being followed by Walker; the title of the six-CD set Complete Recordings of T-Bone Walker 1940-1954 is itself a statement that could not be made without Edwards in attendance, the sum total of other Walker collections and reissues forming an overwhelming voting bloc in the bassist's discography.