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Teddy Edwards

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  • Born: Jackson, MS
  • Died: Los Angeles, CA
  • Years Active: 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Teddy Edwards was, with Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray, the top young tenor of the late '40s. Unlike the other two, he chose to remain in Los Angeles and has been underrated through the years but remained in prime form well into his 70s. Early on, he toured with Ernie Fields' Orchestra, moving to L.A. in 1945 to work with Roy Milton as an altoist. Edwards switched to tenor when he joined Howard McGhee's band and was featured in many jam sessions during the era, recording "The Duel" with Dexter Gordon in 1947. A natural-born leader, Edwards did work briefly with Max Roach & Clifford Brown (1954), Benny Carter (1955), and Benny Goodman (1964), and he recorded in the 1960s with Milt Jackson and Jimmy Smith. But it was his own records -- for Onyx (1947-1948), Pacific Jazz, Contemporary (1960-1962), Prestige, Xanadu, Muse, SteepleChase, Timeless, and Antilles -- that best displayed his playing and writing; "Sunset Eyes" is Edwards' best-known original.

Wikipedia:

Theodore Marcus "Teddy" Edwards (April 26, 1924 – April 20, 2003) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist based on the West Coast of the US. Some consider him to be one of the most influential tenor saxophonists of the 1940s.

^ Allmusic

Biography[edit]

Edwards was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He learned to play at a very early age, first on alto saxophone and then clarinet.

His uncle sent for him to come to Detroit to live because he felt opportunities were better. Due to illness in the family, he went back to Jackson and ventured to Alexandria, Louisiana. He was persuaded by Ernie Fields to join his band after going to Tampa, Florida. Teddy had planned to go to New York, but Ernie Fields convinced him he could get there by way of Washington, DC, if he worked with his band. Teddy ended up at the "Club Alabam" on Central Avenue in Los Angeles, which later became his city of residence.

Teddy Edwards played with many jazz notables, including his personal friend Charlie Parker, Roy Milton, Wynonie Harris, Vince Guaraldi, Joe Castro and Ernie Andrews. A classic 1947 recording with Dexter Gordon, The Duel, helped set him up as a legend, a status he liked to maintain by challenging other worthy sax players to similar duels whenever possible, including a recording with Houston Person. One such memorable duel took place in the 1980s at London's 100 Club with British tenor Dick Morrissey.

In 1964, Edwards played with Benny Goodman at Disneyland, and at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

Edwards played live with and appeared on albums of Tom Waits. He toured with him on the Heart Attack and Vine tour and played to a packed Victoria Apollo in London with Waits and a bassist (the drummer had apparently been left behind after some dispute). The 1991 album Mississippi Lad features two tracks with Waits, and Waits covers the Edwards-written ballad "Little Man" on his Orphans collection.

^ Obituary at Telegraph.co.uk