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Teddy Wilson: The Keystone Transcriptions, C. 1939-1949

There are 26 previously unissued solos here, nearly half of them blues or originals, all of them played with Wilson’s customary aplomb. Anyone who ever had the pleasure of recording him alone can tell you what a cinch it was. In this case, too, there would have been no thought about programming album sequences. Such as it was, the main problem was time, for Keystone evidently wanted all performances well under three minutes for radio spotting. So when the pianist cut one off abruptly at 1.01, it at least suggested an original title-“Minute Steak”! We get examples here of his liking for Earl Hines’ “hand touch” and Art Tatum’s mighty runs, but by 1940 Wilson had himself become a major influence with a style notable for smooth, compelling rhythm rather than dynamic turbulence.

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