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Teddy Edwards

A pioneer hard bopper on the tenor and recognized as one of the masters in the L.A. Central Avenue scene, Edwards leaves a huge legacy of recorded music, stretching from the Forties right through to his death in 2003.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, on 26th April 1924, Edwards moved to Los Angeles in 1945, first coming to attention the following year when, with trumpeter Howard McGhee's group, he recorded the groundbreaking bebop tune, “Up In Dodo's Room.”

By the end of that decade Edwards was sufficiently well known to front his own bands. In 1949 he was also one of the first members of the Lighthouse All Stars, the group based at the famous Lighthouse Club in Hermosa Beach.

Five years later, in 1954, Edwards was invited to join the Max Roach Quintet, a group that also featured legendary trumpeter Clifford Brown. Edwards' tenor perfectly complemented Brown's eloquent style, a partnership also helped by Teddy's growing talents as a composer. Indeed, the Quintet's recording of Edwards' classic “Sunset Eyes” is a testament to the effectiveness of the relationship.

By the mid-Fifties Edwards was long established as a regular at West Coast festivals and clubs and, over the next few years, he worked with such diverse musicians as Benny Goodman, Les McCann, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Benny Carter, Hampton Hawes, Earl Hines and Gerald Wilson. He also wrote songs for Nancy Wilson, Jimmy Witherspoon and Ernie Andrews.

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