Teddy Wilson (featuring Billie Holiday): What a Little Moonlight Can Do

Track

What a Little Moonlight Can Do

Group

Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra (featuring Billie Holiday)

CD

Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933-1944 (Columbia/Legacy CXX 85470)

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Musicians:

Teddy Wilson (piano), Billie Holiday (vocals), Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Benny Goodman (clarinet), Ben Webster (tenor sax), John Kirby (bass), Cozy Cole (drums),

John Trueheart (guitar)

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Composed by Harry M. Woods

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Recorded: New York, July 2, 1935

Albumcoverbholidayladyday

Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

In June 1935, John Hammond approached Brunswick and secured a 12-month contract guaranteeing one session a month built around pianist Teddy Wilson. Hammond was to act as producer for the series, primarily aimed at the fast expanding coin-operated music-machine business. For their first session, Hammond pulled out all the stops to assemble a genuine all-star ensemble, even persuading Goodman to cut short rehearsals with his own big band for their first out-of-town booking in Pittsburgh’s Stanley Theatre. Goodman’s contribution turned out to be so inspired he helped make this one of the finest Billie Holiday-Teddy Wilson sessions. It opens with what effectively is the Goodman trio – after a 4-bar intro by Wilson, Goodman states the 32-bar theme in the chalumeau register, then launches into a genuinely hot chorus that leads into Billie’s suave vocal. Riveting stuff – indeed, Wilson would later say, “That session was never, never surpassed. It may have been equaled, but never surpassed.”

Reviewer: Stuart Nicholson

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Related Links

Billie Holiday: Rare and Live by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Billie Holiday Performances by Stuart Nicholson
”Billie Holiday” by Stuart Nicholson (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)


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