Teddy Edwards

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Teddy Edwards
Edwards at Koncepts Kultural Gallery, Oakland, California, 1980s
Edwards at Koncepts Kultural Gallery, Oakland, California, 1980s
Background information
Birth nameTheodore Marcus Edwards
Born(1924-04-26)April 26, 1924
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedApril 20, 2003(2003-04-20) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Instrument(s)Tenor saxophone
Years active1947–2001

Theodore Marcus "Teddy" Edwards (April 26, 1924 – April 20, 2003)[1] was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.


Edwards was born in Jackson, Mississippi, United States.[2] He learned to play at a very early age, first on alto saxophone and then clarinet.

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 to Alexandria, Louisiana. He was persuaded by Ernie Fields to join his band after going to Tampa, Florida.[2] Edwards had planned to go to New York City, but Fields convinced him he could get there by way of Washington, D.C., if he worked with his band. Edwards ended up at the "Club Alabam" on Central Avenue in Los Angeles, which later became his city of residence.

Edwards played with many jazz musicians, including his personal friend Charlie Parker, Roy Milton, Wynonie Harris, Vince Guaraldi, Joe Castro and Ernie Andrews.[2] A 1947 recording with Dexter Gordon, The Duel, was an early challenge to another saxophonist, an approach he maintained whenever possible, including a recording with Houston Person. One such duel took place in the 1980s at London's 100 Club with British tenor Dick Morrissey.[3] In 1964, Edwards played with Benny Goodman at Disneyland, and at the 1964 New York World's Fair.[2]

Edwards performed and recorded with Tom Waits.[2] He toured with him on the Heart Attack and Vine tour, and played to a packed Victoria Apollo in London with Waits and bassist Greg Cohen (the drummer had apparently been left behind after some dispute). The 1991 album, Mississippi Lad, featured two tracks with Waits, and Waits covers the Edwards-written ballad "Little Man" on his Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards collection.

He died in Los Angeles of prostate cancer, with which he had been diagnosed in 1994, at the age of 78.[1][4]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year Title Label Notes
1947 The Foremost! Onyx With Dexter Gordon. Shared various artists LP with Leo Parker and Wardell Gray.
1948 Central Avenue Breakdown, Vol. 1 Shared various artists LP with Vivien Garry/Arv Garrison and Dodo Marmarosa
1949 Central Avenue Breakdown, Vol. 2 Shared various artists LP with Barney Kessel and Slim Gaillard
1958 Sonny Rollins at Music Inn/Teddy Edwards at Falcon's Lair MetroJazz With Joe Castro. Split album featuring Sonny Rollins tracks.
1959 It's About Time Pacific Jazz With Les McCann
1960 Sunset Eyes Pacific Jazz; reissued on Blue Note
Teddy's Ready! Contemporary
Back to Avalon
1961 Together Again!!!! With Howard McGhee
Good Gravy!
1962 Heart & Soul
1966 Nothin' But the Truth! Prestige
1967 It's All Right!
1974 Feelin's Muse
1976 The Inimitable Teddy Edwards Xanadu
1979 Young at Heart Storyville With McGhee
Wise in Time
1980 Out of This World SteepleChase
1981 Good Gravy Timeless Live
1991 Mississippi Lad Verve/Gitanes Featuring Tom Waits
1993 Blue Saxophone
1994 La Villa: Live in Paris
1995 Tango in Harlem
1996 Horn to Horn Muse With Houston Person
1997 Midnight Creeper HighNote
1999 Close Encounters With Person
Sunset Eyes 2000 Laroo With Saskia Laroo
2000 Ladies Man HighNote
The Legend of Teddy Edwards Cope Soundtrack
2003 Smooth Sailing HighNote

As sideman[edit]

With Frank Butler

With Joe Castro

With Sonny Criss

With Richard "Groove" Holmes

With Milt Jackson

With King Pleasure

With Hank Jones

With Julie London

With Shelly Manne

With Les McCann

With Howard McGhee

  • West Coast 1945-1947 (Uptown, 2014)

With Freddie Redd

With Max Roach and Clifford Brown

With Jimmy Smith

With Leroy Vinnegar

With Randy Weston and Melba Liston

With Gerald Wilson


  1. ^ a b Keepnews, Peter (April 23, 2003). "Teddy Edwards, 78, Deft Star Of Los Angeles Jazz Scene". The New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 129/130. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  3. ^ "Teddy Edwards". The Telegraph. April 27, 2003.
  4. ^ Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2003: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. 2008-10-24. ISBN 9780786452088.

External links[edit]