In his varied and colourful life, Teddy Wilson worked with innumerable great names of jazz. He came to fame in the small groups led by Benny Goodman and also through his remarkable series of recordings with the singer Billie Holiday. During the mid 1970's Wilson recorded and toured often in Europe and during these visits he was frequently teamed with the Dutch Swing College Band. The band's guitarist Arie Ligthart and Anglo-Dutch publicist and author Humphrey van Loo took the opportunity of these visits to work with Wilson on a full length autobiography which has lain unpublished during the years since Wilson's death in 1986. Teddy Wilson Talks Jazz is a candid account of Wilson's life and career, from his childhood through to his association with the critic and producer John Hammond, and on to his associations with Goodman, Holiday, his own bands and fellow pianists such as Earl Hines and Art Tatum. Highlights in ths very personal view of a life in music include recollections of Al Capone, his respect for jazz pioneers such as Jelly Roll Morton, his account of the organization behind Billie Holiday's recording career, his recordings with Lester Young and his 1962 trip to Russia as well as his insider's account of working with Benny Goodman. Teddy Wilson was one of the most significan jazz pianists of the swing era. He was a memner of Benny Goodman's small groups, made a series of immortal small group records accompanying Billie Holiday, and went on to a distinguished international career as a soloist and a band-leader. He died in 1986. Arie Lingthart was a guitarist with the Dutch Swing College Band for over twenty years, appearing on many sessions with the band's Americal guests including Billy Butterfield, Joe Ventui and Jimmy Witherspoon, as well as Teddy Wilson. Humphrey van Loo is an Anglo-Dutch writer, journalist and publicist.
"Full of valuable information and quietly astute observation that matches the pianist's manner and music."
-Stanley Dance, JazzTimes "Provides many personal insights into the life and times of Theodore Shaw Wilson, a prodigious pianist."
-John Nelson, Mississippi Rag "Articulate, generous and humane, Wilson's book fully expresses his jazz personality."
-Chris Searle, Morning Star