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Teddy Wilson: The Keystone Transcriptions

Craig Jolley By

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One of the great swing era pianists Teddy Wilson arrived at a mature style early in his career. The first Wilson record I know of (with Benny Carter's wonderful, short-lived 1933 big band) introduces him as an advanced, gifted band pianist and soloist. Wilson's later records (He had a fifty-year career.) as a trio or solo pianist stand as elegant, logical, and swinging miniatures, but they generally lack the freshness of his 1930's playing. The tension from his left hand counterlines smoothed out for one thing.

The Keystone Transcriptions present Wilson in near-ideal cicumstances. Originally recorded for radio play (instead of for commercial release), these piano solos were apparently lost or forgotten until recently. He contemporaneously recorded a few of these tunes with Billie Holiday or Benny Goodman, but these solo versions deserve to be heard on their own merits—they are not remakes. There are several tunes he rarely if ever played again. Some are Wilson "heads" on standards—for example "Tempo Positioned" is "Cherry" with a "'Swonderful" bridge. Vocalist Johnny Mercer later recorded "You'll Be Sorry" as "Shoo Be Doin'". Wilson rarely played the blues as he got older, but there are three choice examples here


Track Listing: A Ghost Of A Chance / Sunday / More Than You Know / Summer's End / Goin' Home Blues / Minute Steak / Sugar / At Sundown / Tuesday Jump / The Moon Is Low / Afternoon Blues / The Little Things That Mean So Much / You're My Favorite Memory / Rhythmatics / Almost Blues / Tempo Positioned / Out Of Nowhere / Night And Day / Lady Be Good / Jumpin' Off / You'll Be Sorry / Chinatown My Chinatown / Twilight Blue / Love Is The Sweetest Thing / Rose Room / Why Shouldn't I

Personnel: Teddy Wilson - piano.

Title: The Keystone Transcriptions | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Storyville Records


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