This Is New: Teddi King Sings Ira Gershwin

Teddi King emerged as a top jazz vocalist in the late 1940s, singing with the Nat Pierce Orchestra in Boston. During 1952-54, she became the only singer ever featured regularly with the George Shearing Quintet. Otherwise she spent most of her career as a single, and was a regular performer at the Playboy clubs in the 1960s. While excellent on medium-tempo performances, she was at her best on ballads where her singing was particularly expressive.

The singer passed away in 1979 as the result of Lupis. 29 days before she died, she recorded this set of duets with pianist Dave McKenna, one of the major swing pianists of the past 40 years. The duo is featured on eight songs that have lyrics by Ira Gershwin. Such tunes as “Isn’t It A Pity,” “But Not For Me” and “Here’s What I’m Here For” are given particularly touching interpretations. After King passed away, McKenna went back into the studio and recorded five other songs that they had planned to perform. All in all, this intimate set is a wonderful tribute to the artistry of both Teddi King and Dave McKenna.

SKU: IC1044

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This rare Inner City recording features jazz vocalist Teddi King with piano great Dave McKenna. King enjoyed a succesful career, having played with the likes of McKenna and George Shearing, and has amassed a bit of a cult following with her singing in the style of greats Lee Wiley, Mildred Bailey and Mabel Mercer. Here, King and McKenna perform 13 selections from Ira Gerswhin's classic catalog.

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Teddi King
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer Ira Gershwin
Accompanist/ Conductor Dave McKenna - piano
SKU IC1044


Customer Reviews (2)

"Ira Would Dig"Review by Big Toots
IC 1044 This is New Teddi King Sings Ira Gershwin

In a self-deprecating manner, pianist Dave McKenna is quoted as calling himself “Just a saloon piano player.” Teddi King, on the other hand, epitomizes that elegant line of chanteuses who play rooms more appropriately called “salons.” Putting these two artists – how apropos is that description! – in the studio together was a stroke of production genius, And, the result is this elegant recording.

With “This is New” Ms. King and Mr. McKenna, both New Englanders, offer 13 of New York City boy, Ira Gershwin’s best-known works - and they do him most proud. Perhaps the dominant reason for their brilliant teaming here is a mutual and respective adoration for melody. The love for lyric, which King exudes in tons, is the “get one free” part of the deal.

Vocally and stylistically, King shades Mabel Mercer and, although she is not a pure jazz singer, to a very small degree, Billie Holiday (“But Not for Me”). She possesses a fine vocal instrument that carries an older style of faster vibrato – almost operatic (“Isn’t it a Pity”). One can immediate hear that there’s an intimacy had by Ms. King with both the melody and lyric. She paints her dynamics with great expression, too. This is a classic and classy cabaret vocalist who has a keen theatrical sense which works well on more sophisticated lyric content. She and McKenna are pod-peas.

McKenna, at the keyboard to superbly accompany King (and perform solo on 5 cuts) is 88-keys of swing, taste, energy and power. A legendary tunesmith, he’s no wallflower when it comes to working these familiar Gershwin melodies. His terrific partnering chops and subtle (and some not so subtle – listen closely to “I Can’t Be Bothered Now” as McKenna keeps “foot-time!”) rhythmic drive provide King an ideal way to expand up on top (“Fun to Be Fooled,” “My Ship”). His solo efforts are a post-graduate course in one-person keyboarding (“Long Ago and Far Away”) and rhythmic momentum (“Soon”).

Perhaps the best description of “This is New” is that the Gershwin music – and the talent – here are timelessly wonderful. Enjoy, no minimum.
(Posted on 5/17/2015)
This Is NewReview by Simon Sez
An excellent singer who was best known in the 1950s, Teddi King was less than a month from her death from Lupus in 1977 when she recorded this album. She gave it everything she had and sounds pretty good during the last musical chapter of her life.

Teddi King sings eight duets with Dave McKenna, performing songs with Ira Gershwin lyrics including several that have titles that could apply to her situation such as “Here’s What I’m Here For” and “Isn’t It A Pity.” Since she did not quite complete the album, there are also five ballads that are played by McKenna as piano solos. The music is emotional and effective, a must for Teddi King fans since her singing never declined.

Simon Sez: Teddi King’s Sings Ira Gershwin (IC1044) is her last recording, eight good duets with Dave McKenna and five piano solos without her. (Posted on 5/6/2014)

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