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Teddy Edwards – Feelin’s – Muse/Xanadu/Elemental

The feelin’s right…

Teddy Edwards – Feelin’s – Muse/Xanadu/Elemental 906077, 40:18 (1974) ****:

(Teddy Edwards – tenor sax; Conte Candoli – trumpet; Dolo Coker – piano; Ray Brown – bass; Frank Butler – drums; Jerry Steinholz – congas and percussion)

Teddy Edwards has never received enough accolades as a heavyweight straight-ahead jazz tenor sax player. Perhaps it was because he primarily stayed on the West Coast throughout his career, and did not get the New York exposure needed to be a breakout star. Nevertheless, Edwards made many standout albums and recorded well into his 70s.

Feelin’s, recorded in 1974, is a welcome reissue in the Xanadu Master Edition series. Edwards has a super backing group comprised of Conte Candoli on trumpet, the iconic Ray Brown on bass, and the relatively unheralded Dolo Coker on piano, Frank Butler on drums and Jerry Steinholz on percussion. Recorded on March 25, 1974, at Wally Heider’s Hollywood Studio, this session consists of four Edwards’ originals, a blues from Ray Brown, and a nice cover of “Georgia on my Mind.”

“Bear Tracks” is taken at a relaxed shuffle beat. Teddy blows some ultra low notes, much like those of a tugboat horn. “April Love” is a silky smooth bossa, with Candoli having a laid back solo, and Dolo Coker shining on several blues based choruses. Ray Brown contributes “Ritta Ditta Blues.” After some introductory choruses, Conte steps up and blows fire. Teddy’s solos increase in intensity before Brown “walks” his bass.

“Eleven Twenty Three” is a gospel blues with some nasty low down testifying by Edwards and Frank Butler using a tambourine for a heavy back-beat. “Georgia on My Mind” is soul personified. A live audience reaction would be the only thing missing here. This sweet session is is concluded with “The Blue Sombrero” from Teddy’s pen. Frank Butler and Jerry Steinholz team to set a below the border mood for Edwards and Candoli to spice up. Teddy opens, and Conte adds just the right amount of hot zest.

There is not a weak track on this CD. Edwards is the consummate pro and Xanadu producer Don Schlitten was the right man to bring Teddy back into the studio after a seven year hiatus since Edwards’ 1967 Prestige issue, It’s All Right! Lovers of soulful tenor sax should pick up this reissue.

Tracklist: Bear Tracks, April Love, Ritta Ditta Blues, Eleven Twenty Three, Georgia on My Mind, The Blue Sombrero.

—Jeff Krow

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