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Teddy Wilson

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Theodore Shaw “Teddy” Wilson (born 1912-11-24 in Austin, Texas-died 1986-07-31 in New Britain, Connecticut) was a jazz pianist from the United States . His sophisticated and elegant style graced the records of many of the biggest names in jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

Wilson studied piano and violin at Tuskegee Institute. After working in the Speed Webb and Louis Armstrong bands, he joined Benny Carter’s Chocolate Dandies in 1933. In 1935 he joined the Benny Goodman Trio (which consisted of Goodman, Wilson and drummer Gene Krupa, later expanded to the Benny Goodman Quartet with the addition of Lionel Hampton). The trio performed during the big band’s intermissions. By joining the Trio, Wilson became the first black musician to perform in public with a previously all-white jazz group.

In the 1930s and 1940s he recorded fifty hit records with various singers such as Lena Horne and Helen Ward, including many of Billie Holiday’s most successful records. During these years he also recorded many highly regarded sessions with a wide range of important swing musicians, such as Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Charlie Shavers, Red Norvo, Buck Clayton and Ben Webster.

Wilson formed his own short-lived big band in 1939, then led a sextet at Cafe Society from 1940 to 1944. In the 1950s he taught at the Juilliard School. Wilson performed as a soloist and with pick-up groups up until the final years of his life.

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  • mikonxms

    Amazing artist

    10 Feb 5:23pm Reply
  • DavidSmith98

    We love you Teddy Wilson.

    29 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Five_Long_Years

    Nice elegant music that's pretty smooth, ideal to study to :)

    4 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Skimaskkass

    Wonderful Jazz, I need to get some copies of his music!

    3 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Druid66

    Austin's native son played a mean keyboard, but his songs weren't mean, they were lush.

    23 Aug 2011 Reply
  • deftplays

    awesome artist :)

    1 Jun 2010 Reply
  • bak1an

    jazz!

    31 May 2010 Reply
  • peeanolover

    Wonderful Teddy Wilson, one of the finest stride piano players. Absolute top.

    9 Feb 2009 Reply
  • Squaredeath

    oh shit!

    29 May 2008 Reply
  • SYL2Oh

    While elegance and refinement, the game of Teddy Wilson is served by a left hand now freed from its role exclusively rhythmic!

    23 May 2008 Reply
  • jazzmax1

    the smoooooothest, greatest. EVER!

    8 May 2008 Reply
  • F_Hole

    A lifetime peak: getting to hear Mr. Wilson in the '70's play solo at the ornate Copley Plaza Hotel whilst sipping. Probably the closest I ever got to experiencing the elegance of a jazz generation mostly bygone.

    7 Feb 2008 Reply
  • F_Hole

    Before there was Art Tatum, there was Teddy Wilson.

    7 Feb 2008 Reply