Teddy Edwards

Smooth Sailing

High Note HCD 7088

Teddy Edwards, tenor saxophone; Richard Wyands, piano; Ray Drummond, bass; Chip White, drums

Teddy Edwards was 77 when he made this CD, but he sets off at a cracking pace on "Going Home", the only number written by him in what is mostly a set of standards; crisp solos from Richard Wyands on piano and Chip White on drums help to enhance Teddy's nimble finger work. Ellington's "All Too Soon" gives them all a chance to recover as Teddy offers us his own throaty, relaxed tenor playing. He takes us effortlessly through stylish renderings of "Indian Summer" and "Robbin's Nest"; the latter giving us a great solo from Richard Wyands and some nice trades between drummer Chip White and the tenor. "It's The Talk Of The Town" is given the subdued ballad treatment and played with control and great beauty; the bass of Ray Drummond contributes a balanced solo. These guys know how to round off a tune with distinction. The title track "Smooth Sailing" and "Polka Dots And Moonbeams" finishes the set with classical finesse.

Teddy Edwards died in April 2003 aged 80. His style was the stuff of long experience and a great deal of warmth. He was something akin to a favorite uncle who gave wisdom and kindness through his tonal quality. A CD to buy.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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