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Teddy Edwards

THE LEGEND OF TEDDY EDWARDS (2001)

Edwards was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He learned to play at a very early age, first on alto saxophone and then clarinet. Edwards' first professional job was withThe Royal Mississippians with Doc Parmley.


His uncle sent for him to come to Detroit to live because he felt opportunities were better. Due to illness in the family, he went back to Jackson and ventured toAlexandria, Louisiana. He was persuaded by Ernie Fields to join his band after going to Tampa, Florida. Teddy had planned to go to New York, but Ernie Fieldsconvinced him he could get there by way of Washington, DC if he worked with his band. Teddy ended up at the Club Alabam on Central Ave. in Los Angeles, which later became his city of residence.

Teddy Edwards played with many jazz notables, including his personal friendCharlie ParkerRoy MiltonWynonie HarrisVince GuaraldiJoe Castro and Ernie Andrews. A classic 1947 recording with Dexter GordonThe Duel, helped set him up as a legend, a status he liked to maintain by challenging other worthy sax players to similar duels whenever possible, including a recording with Houston Person. One such memorable duel took place in the 80s at London's 100 Club with British tenor Dick Morrissey.

In 1964, Edwards played with Benny Goodman at Disneyland, and at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

Edwards played live with and appeared on albums of Tom Waits. He toured with him on the Heart Attack and Vine tour and played to a packed Victoria Apollo in London with Tom and a bassist. (The drummer had apparently been left behind after some dispute). The 1991 album Mississippi Lad features two tracks with Waits, and Waits covers the Edwards-written ballad "Little Man" on his Orphans collection.

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