Saturday, August 17, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Lester Young-Teddy Wilson Quartet

Artist:The Lester Young-Teddy Wilson Quartet
Song:Love Me Or Leave Me
Album:Pres and Teddy

By the mid-50s, tenor sax legend Lester Young's health had deteriorated to the point where he suffered a nervous breakdown in 1955. His recordings for Verve Records were negatively affected by his alcoholism. But after his treatment, he emerged in 1956 to record one of his best albums with pianist Teddy Wilson. Young died in 1959 so it turned out to be a last hurrah. Though Teddy Wilson led his own band occasionally, he was mainly known as one of the greatest accompanists in jazz history. Of course his best known gig was with Benny Goodman. Young and Wilson worked together in the 30s for Billie Holiday. So Verve Records owner Norman Granz thought it would be a great idea to put these two jazz legends together. Add to that legendary drummer Jo Jones best known for his days with Count Basie. Don't confuse him with Philly Joe Jones. Bassist Gene Ramey worked with Young in the past. Young and Wilson recorded the album The Jazz Giants '56 and then the next day recorded Pres and Teddy. The Jazz Giants '56 added Roy Eldridge on trumpet, Vic Dickenson on trombone and Freddie Green on guitar. These two albums are probably the last great recordings of Lester Young's career as his health soon deteriorated again and he died in 1959. And you can get Pres and Teddy as a budget CD. Love Me Or Leave Me was written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn and made famous by singer Ruth Etting in the 20s. Love Me Or Leave Me was the title of the 1955 Ruth Etting biopic starring Doris Day. Here's a video for Love Me Or Leave Me by The Lester Young-Teddy Wilson Quartet.

1 comment:

  1. Frank, thanks for the information about Lester Young and Teddy Wilson. You know your stuff about music. I am impressed.