Teddy Wilson: More Than You Know


More Than You Know


Teddy Wilson (piano)


The Keystone Transcriptions (Storyville 8258)

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Teddy Wilson (piano).

Composed by Vincent Youmans, Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu


Recorded: New York, circa 1939-1940


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Teddy Wilson had already recorded this song as a sideman with Benny Goodman, and also under his own leadership with Billie Holiday handling the vocals. But it is a real treat to hear him, at the peak of his powers, tackle it in a solo piano format. We can enjoy his crisp touch and strong keyboard conception, still rooted in the stride piano style. A short while after this recording was made, Wilson's approach to the piano would seem old fashioned, at least to some younger fans, in the face of the mordant modernism of the boppers, but on these Keystone recordings he is very much at the forefront, ranking with Hines, Tatum and Waller as the defining keyboard stylists of the era. Here he opens with a leisurely ad lib chorus then falls into tempo with a confident two-handed conception, marked by the logic of its vertical construction and the stately momentum of his attack. I especially like the surprising harmonic movement in the coda, which was quite daring for the period.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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