Why Do You Suppose - 2.48
Over The Rainbow - 3.39
This Is Always - 2.37
Fools Fall In Love - 2.42
I Didn't Know About You - 2.58
I'm In The Market For You - 3.26
You Hit The Spot - 2.22
Something To Live For - 3.17
You Can Depend On Me - 2.40
Old Folks - 4.07
Like A Ship Without A Sail - 2.49
You Turned The Tables On Me - 3.39
Bob Brookmeyer-valve trombone
Due to her premature death, jazz vocalist Teddi King has been somewhat overlooked by all but those who remember hearing her during her peak years of the 1950s, as she recorded a number of LPs for Storyville and RCA Victor, while achieving a few minor hits along the way. After World War II, the contralto won a vocal competition in Boston (her hometown) that was hosted by Dinah Shore. In 1949, she made her first recording with pianist Nat Pierce and later worked with the Beryl Booker Trio and toured with George Shearing. She won the Downbeat Critic’s Poll as Best New Artist in 1955 and appeared with Woody Herman the same year at the Newport Jazz Festival. She was still performing into the 1960s, though record dates were fading. After being diagnosed with lupus in 1970, she continued to perform and recorded several albums of for Audiophile shortly before succumbing to the disease at the age of forty-eight in the fall of 1977.
Joining King for these 1955 sessions are a bevy of all-stars: valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, alto saxophonist Gene Quill, baritone saxophonist Sol Schlinger, trumpeter Nick Travis, plus a rhythm section including pianist Billy Taylor, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Osie Johnson. A favorite of musicians, King only performed songs with lyrics that had meaning to her, while they responded in kind by providing perfect backdrops for her moving vocals. King’s vocals are without affectations, she communicates the essence of each work in a convincing, easygoing manner. Nor is she one to discard the verse that set up a song in a musical, delivering a heartfelt interpretation of “Over the Rainbow” that outshines better known versions by several greats. The instrumentalists mostly stay out of the spotlight, aside from Brookmeyer’s sassy solos in “I Didn’t Know About You,” “I’m in the Market For You” and “Old Folks.” Long out of print until now, these valuable recordings make a convincing argument that Teddi King deserves wider recognition.
1. Why Do You Suppose (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart)