Teddy Edwards

Theodore Marcus Edwards (April 26, 1924 – April 20, 2003) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.

Teddy Edwards
Teddy Edwards at Koncepts Kultural Gallery, Oakland CA 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)
InstrumentsTenor saxophone
Years active1947–2001


Edwards was born in Jackson, Mississippi. 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. Teddy had planned to go to New York City, but Ernie Fields convinced him he could get there by way of Washington, DC, if he worked with his band. Teddy ended up at the "Club Alabam" on Central Avenue in Los Angeles, which later became his city of residence.

Teddy Edwards played with many jazz notables, including his personal friend Charlie Parker, Roy Milton, Wynonie Harris, Vince Guaraldi, Joe Castro and Ernie Andrews. A classic 1947 recording with Dexter Gordon, The Duel, helped set him up as a legend, a status he liked to maintain by challenging other worthy sax players to similar duels whenever possible, including a recording with Houston Person. One such "memorable" duel took place in the 1980s at London's 100 Club with British tenor Dick Morrissey.[1]

In 1964, Edwards played with Benny Goodman at Disneyland, and at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

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


As leader/co-leader

As sideman

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

  • Max Roach and Clifford Brown In Concert (Gene Norman Presents, 1954; reissued on GNP Crescendo)

With Jimmy Smith

With Leroy Vinnegar

With Gerald Wilson


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