Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Teddy Wilson, Billie Holiday|
Too Hot for Words
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Holiday, Wilson, Eldridge, Webster, and More!
M. Allen Greenbaum | California | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems that several years ago I acquired a CD of both monetary and musical value. As of this writing, "Too Hot for Words" is unavailable at Amazon.com, and under "other sellers" there's one place where someone's hawking it at the inflated price of $32.01. An Amazon.com search reveals that there's a 2002 version--not by Hep--for under $11, but there's no information on the tracks, and no reviews to guide you. At any rate, this HEP album is so good (and a potential money-maker for the enterprising!), that (before I review it) I'll tell you a cheaper source: just go to http://www.hepjazz.com/1000.html#anchorwilson, and you'll see it listed for 8.99 pounds, equivalent to $16.78, and that includes shipping and handling. I've never dealt them before, so proceed at your own risk.
This is an absolutely superb album from 1935, featuring Teddy Wilson's light and decorous playing, teamed with Billie Holiday, the greatest jazz vocalist of all-time on 14 of its 20 tracks. Billie completely shines here, her voice is pliant, insouciant, and playful, yet she hits the low notes and delivers some phrases in a gravelly style. She dresses up some fairly insipid tunes ("Eeny Meeny Miny Mo," "Twenty-Four Hours A Day") with her unmistakable phrasing and tone, but we also hear her on more sophisticated numbers, including "Miss Brown to You," "If You Were Mine," and the title track.) The latter sizzles, as Holiday gives an appropriately direct delivery, and Ben Webster's tenor sax keeps the fire burning. Elsewhere, Holiday emotions range from the weary to the flirtatious; her versatility is clearer here, I think, than on her later records.
I mentioned the great Ben Webster (who plays on 8 tracks), but Teddy Wilson partners with some other greats here. These include Roy Eldridge on 11 tracks, Benny Goodman on 3, drummer Cozy Coles (11 tracks), saxophonists Johnny Hodges (4), Chu Berry (3), with Wilson on all tracks, playing solo on four excellent numbers, including "Every Now and Then," "It Never Dawned on Me," "Sweet Lorraine," and Gershwin and Kahn's "Liza." Wilson plays fast and light, and as I said decorously, with grace notes thrown around. On the best songs, he shares this light touch with the other musicians, and it all recalls the groundbreaking work of Lester Young. A few numbers have too much of a chugging, heavy rhythm section, like early Basie, but most of this collection soars. It's an alluring combination of the blithe and sensual. Features three pages of liner notes, and track-by-track information on recording dates and personnel."