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: Jazz CD Reviews - 2012 MusicWeb International
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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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TEDDI KING

Four Classic Albums Plus

Avid AMSC 1059

 

 

CD1

Bidin' My Time
1. Bidin' My Time
2. Once Too Often
3. That Old Feeling
4. The I'm Not Supposed To Be Blue Blues
5. Careless Love
6. For All We Know
7. When I Grow Too Old To Dream
8. I'm In Love With The Honorable Mr. So And So
9. I Can't Get Started
10. Love Walked In
11. I Poured My Heart Into A Song
12. Taking A Chance On Love
 
Teddi King - Vocals
Joe Newman - Trumpet
Billy Byers, Sonny Russo - Trombones
Gene Quill, Hal McKusick - Alto saxes
Al Cohn - Tenor sax
Sol Schlinger - Baritone sax
Hank Jones - Piano
Freddie Green - Guitar
Chet Amsterdam - Bass
Osie Johnson - Drums
 
To You From Teddi King
13. The Way You Look Tonight
14. You Go To My Head
15. Where Have You Been?
16. How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
17. The Touch Of Your Lips
18. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight
19. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
20. All I Need Is You
21. The Very Thought Of You
22. Mr. You've Gone And Got The Blues
23. To You
24. When Did You Leave Heaven?
 
Tracks 13, 17, 20, 23
Teddi King - Vocals
Raoul Poliakin, Sylvan Shulman - Violins
Howard Kay - Viola
Maurice Brown - Cello
Stan Webb - Oboe
Artie Manners - Clarinet
Bernie Leighton - Piano
Don Arnone - Guitar
Frank Siravo - Bass
Charlie Perry - Drums
Tracks 14, 15, 21, 22
Teddi King - Vocals
Sylvan Shulman, Howard Kay, Leo Kruczek - Violins
Maurice Brown - Cello
Bernie Kaufman - Sax
Buddy Weed - Piano
Don Arnone - Guitar
Frank Siravo - Bass
Charlie Perry - Drums
Tracks 16, 18, 19, 24
Teddi King - Vocals
Jonah Jones - Trumpet
Hal McKusick, Art Drelinger, Danny Bank - Saxes
Bernie Leighton - Piano
Don Arnone - Guitar
Al Hall - Bass
Sol Gubin - Drums
 
Miss Teddi King
25. I Saw Stars
26. Love Is A Now And Then Thing
27. Love Is Here To Stay
 
Teddi King - Vocals
Jimmy Jones - Piano
Milt Hinton - Bass
Jo Jones - Drums
Ruby Braff - Trumpet
 
CD2
A Girl And Her Songs
1. A Sailboat In The Moonlight
2. Nothin' For Nothin'
3. After All It's Spring
4. My Future Just Passed
5. You Don't Know What Love Is
6. Indian Summer
7. Chicken Today And Feathers Tomorrow
8. Porgy
9. Laughing At Life
10. Autumn In New York
11. Why Shouldn't I?
12. Alone Together
 
Tracks 2, 6, 7, 12
Teddi King - Vocals
Doc Severinsen, John Frosk, Bernie Glow, Red Soloman - Trumpets
Lou Stein - Piano
Don Arnone - Guitar
Sidney Block - Bass
Osie Johnson - Drums
Tracks 3, 5, 8, 10
Teddi King - Vocals
Howard Kay, Sylvan Shulman, Julius Brand, Jack Zayde, Maurice Hershaft, Harry Meinkoff - Violins
Billy Rauch, Robert Byrne, Jack Satterfield - Trombones
Bernie Kaufman, Stan Webb - Reeds
Lou Stein - Piano
Don Arnone - Guitar
Sidney Block - Bass
Osie Johnson - Drums
Tracks 4, 9, 11
Teddi King - Vocals
Doc Severinsen - Trumpet
Lou Stein - Piano
Don Arnone - Guitar
Sandy Block - Bass
Osie Johnson - Drums
 
All The King's Songs
13. April Showers
14. A Cottage For Sale
15. That's For Me
16. Temptation
17. Unforgettable
18. Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now
19. Flamingo
20. June In January
21. You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me
22. This Love Of Mine
23. When It's Sleepy Time Down South
24. Let's Face The Music And Dance
 
Teddi King - Vocals
Orchestra under the direction of Lew Douglas and Johnny Richards
 
Miss Teddi King
25. It's The Talk Of The Town
26. I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan
27. It's All In The Mind
 
Teddi King - Vocals
Jimmy Jones - Piano
Jo Jones - Drums
Milt Hinton - Bass
Ruby Braff - Trumpet
 

There is a somewhat trite expression that goes as follows: "good things come in small packages". However, in the case of Teddi King that saying was undoubtedly accurate. Often described as "petite", "elfin" or "gamin" she was barely five feet tall, but had a deceptively rich contralto voice that she used to great effect to cover a wide variety of musical material. This Avid Jazz reissue focuses on the period from 1954 to 1959 as Teddi was gaining more recognition as a jazz singer.

In a release that includes five albums and fifty-four tracks, it would not be possible to provide comments on even half of them, without turning this piece from a review into a novel. So our remarks will be confined to those singular tracks that offer interesting interpretations of well-known material, tunes that may not have been recorded with any frequency, or others that simply strike the reviewer's fancy.

Bidin' My Time is not only the name of the album but also the title track of this 1956 release. From the very first notes, it is clear that this was a very different voice, with tasty phrasing and clear articulation. Born in Boston, Teddi began her career as a dramatic actress with the title role in Peter Pan. Beginning in 1948, King worked with some territory bands including Nat Pierce's group. In 1952, she joined the George Shearing Quintet for two years, as the only girl singer in the history of the group. With the legendary George Wein as her manager, she branched out on her own, starting in 1954. In this session Teddi had a great back-up band headed by tenor man Al Cohn, who created arrangements that lent themselves to her particular talents. With her affectionate and gentle style, her interpretations of That Old Feeling and For All We Know were both appealing and charming. Joe Newman's trumpet offers some well thought-out phrases on that little known tune Once Too Often. Gene Quill's alto sax is also quite prominent on the George & Ira Gershwin charmer Love Walked In. All selections in the album show off Teddi's impeccable musical understanding.

To You From Teddi King is a very out-of-the-ordinary musical construct. Every song has "you" in the title and it is meant to address an emotional relationship either past or present. With twelve tracks to work on, there are clearly enough tunes to adequately tackle this dilemma. The other notable change is a switch to an orchestra under the direction of George Siravo from a purely jazz combo. Nevertheless, within that framework there are a number of tracks that sparkle, including How Come You Do Me Like You Do?, If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight, I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me and the infrequently heard When Did You Leave Heaven? Each of these cuts was done with a supporting band which included Jonah Jones on trumpet, along with Danny Bank on sax and Bernie Leighton piano. Overall the entire album produced a somewhat mixed result.

Miss Teddi King is not the correct title of this album, as most discographies indicate that the more accurate title is Storyville Presents Teddi King, and it was recorded in 1954 as her second release on the Storyville label after `Round Midnight. It would not have been too hard to understand how, at the time, Teddi captured some jazz critics and the record-buying public with her splendid voice and creative style. Backed by a marvellous sympathetic small band that included trumpeter Ruby Braff and pianist Jimmy Jones, Teddi was not afraid to take a chance on using some unfamiliar material such as I Saw Stars and It's All In The Mind which perfectly fit her vocal rage and interpretative style. This was a very worthwhile outing.

A Girl And Her Songs is an uneven effort put together by RCA Victor which seems to say "we don't know what to do with this talent". Under the direction of George Siravo, there are three bands in play: firstly a small jazz combo headed by trumpeter Doc Severinsen, a larger band again with Severinsen in the forefront, and finally a string-dominated orchestra. The more successful tracks are those with the small jazz combo including the little-played Carmen Lombardo tune A Sailboat In The Moonlight, a quirky My Future Just Passed, a small gem entitled Laughing At Life and a lesser-known Cole Porter song Why Shouldn't I? Throughout all these tracks Teddi swings with ease, as well as being sympathetic to the meaning of the lyrics.

Although the liner notes indicate that All The King's Songs was recorded "circa 1953", that is incorrect. This album was done in 1959 on Coral Records with the concept that Teddi would cover many hit tunes that were made famous by male singers of the past and present day. In today's environment, it is hard to imagine such a record being successful, nevertheless at the time it turned out that way, as well as enjoying some critical acclaim. The move to Coral Records from RCA Victor did not necessarily bring any major innovative changes in the way Teddi was presented on her albums. There still seemed to be this conflict between popular music and jazz, and promoting the best way to straddle these worlds. On some of the arrangements done by Johnny Richards, there is a small back-up band that included trumpeter Charlie Shavers, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, clarinetist Phil Bodner and possibly Red Norvo on vibes. They are delightfully supportive as Teddi runs through her versions of A Cottage For Sale (Billy Eckstine), Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now (Fats Waller), You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me (Maurice Chevalier) and Sleepy Time Down South (Louis Armstrong). Regardless of the composition, Teddi uses her intonation and delivery to treat each song with honesty.

In a profile for the New Yorker dated February 27, 1978, Whitney Balliett described Teddi King as follows: "She never hurried a note, even at fast tempos, and she gave each song a serenity that carried it through the noisiest rooms. The particulars of her style were less important than the harmonious wholes she made of her songs". This five-album retrospective of Teddi King's work clearly exhibits these characteristics.

Pierre Giroux



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