"A cult figure who should be a luminary..."

"A cult figure who should be a luminary..."
Teddy Edwards in Paris, France photo by Bernard Ailloud - quote by Gary Giddins

Teddy Edwards Now - Publicity 2013


Publicity is everything

You need press if you want to be promoted.  I have been doing a great deal of research for my multimedia jazz project, Teddy Edwards Now, on the life and career of Teddy Edwards. Over the years, I came across some interesting quotes and articles that attempt to describe what Teddy Edwards's music and life was all about.  I have posted some of these quotes below as well as two very rare interviews with Teddy Edwards, which I dug up from my own personal collection. Visit the Teddy Edwards in the Press page to read the entire articles and interviews. 

Southern California was 
a hotbed of black musical creativity 
in the 1940s and early 50s. 

Los Angeles had both audience and artists in abundance.  
Scores of clubs and more than a few radio stations 
were caught up in the exhilaration of Be-bop.  

Sadly, the wealth of outlets rarely was given any space in national 
music publications and few people who weren’t on the scene 
even suspect that any music was being played 
outside of a few Hollywood jam sessions.”

-Patricia Willard   

Black California  liner notes/cover


I thank jazz journalist and writer, Ted Panken, who on January 21,  2013, published an extensive 1999 interview he did with Teddy Edwards after reading a post on a friend’s Facebook page!  This interview was a true treasure trove for me.  A few more insights into the riddle of Teddy Edwards!  Mr. Panken, who contributes for Down Beat and Jazziz, among other publications, mentioned the oral history project that journalist, lecturer, and research consultant Patricia Willard conducted with Teddy Edwards for the Institute of Jazz Studies.  It is my goal to get that interview out in the OPEN! I will be working on that this coming year.

I thank Gary Giddins again for allowing me to reprint his article for the Village Voice written in 1988 entitled Continental DivideIn it, he so clearly explains the West Coast vs. East Coast jazz scene in the eighties and reminds us Angelinos of the Jazz clubs and fantastic musicians we once had – and still have – here in Los Angeles. 

I also wanted to thank Time Out London for allowing me to reprint Brian Case's article on Teddy Edwards British debut with Tom Waits in 1981 on this website.  Teddy first traveled to Europe in 1978 and thanks to that first European trip, he came back many times to the good old continent. But Teddy had never been to Britain yet! Touring with Tom Waits also gave Teddy Edwards a great deal of exposure in Australia and New Zealand. The interview highlights many memories Teddy has from the forties on Central Avenue and his friendship with such jazz greats as Wardell Grey, Charlie Parker and Sonny Criss.

Finally, as the year 2013 ends, I wanted to thank Ted Gioia for his kind interview for the documentary film on Teddy Edwards.  Kevin Mitchell and I traveled to Dallas, Texas, where we met the noted jazz critic and music historian in the comfort of his own home last January.  Mr. Gioia gave me a beautiful interview. He also showed Kevin a book that featured the name of his father, Gordon Mitchell, one of the first Dixieland jazz players in Los Angeles who played with Dixieland and Disneyland


My wish is to actually recreate the feeling of being in Teddy Edwards’s presence, by sharing his music and the videos the way I actually recorded them, right by Teddy’s feet sometimes when he rehearsed or played live for a very select crowd.  

I hope to release this first beautiful album featuring Teddy Edwards on tenor sax, Larry Gales on bass, and Art Hillery on piano, entitled Teddy Edwards –Watermelon Man in 2014 and other music and art as well!

Kirsten Reynen