Sunday, January 21, 2007

Teddy Wilson with Vienna concert Dutch Swing Band - 1976

Came across this video tonight, and although seeing it for the first time; the longer it played, the more it connected itself to me. In the year 1976, this represents a dead-on to what had grabbed me and pulled me into jazz. A couple of years before, I had stumbled across dixieland music on a Sunday evening radio program. For weeks, perhaps months, I didn't know what it was called, I just knew that I liked it (and listened faithfully). That, and Scott Joplin rags provided the place to jump off when I met Joe Midiri, and he "introduced" me to Teddy Wilson, and the Benny Goodman trio/quartet. Teddy Wilson was my first concentrated exposure to a jazz pianist. I listened, and listened, many times to all of the original trio and quartet recordings, and became known (in the late 1970's) as the "kid who plays like Teddy Wilson". These days, I couldn't imitate him no matter how hard I tried. I wasn't imitating him then, either (I could never easily go in and out of "bags" What I hear is what I hear, and what I play is what I play). He was, at that time, my main reference point. As my awareness grew, so did the "pool" of musicians who grabbed my attention, and participated in shaping my outlook. This shaping is ongoing. it continues now, and will continue until I'm done. As for this clip, it has it all: solidly swinging, a strong dixie-style "front line", and Teddy (Regarding this representation, I've always felt that his best work was during those early Goodman days. This cut, however, appeals to me more than many of the later Wilson recordings I've heard). If I was in that audience in 1976, I would have felt right at home.


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