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THE INSTRUMENTS, THE SOUNDS, THE PERFORMERS
in line after Hines. This was Teddy Wilson, who in 1933, having indulged in a brief Hines-style fling of his own, startled the jazz piano world, when John Hammond and Benny Carter brought him to New York, by developing something still fresher and, in terms of the standards of that time, quite radical.
Wilson kept the beat going more evenly, indulged in few dynamic fireworks, achieving a neat, quiet symmetry mostly through the use of single-note lines in the right hand. A more deliberately horizontal style than Hines', it was the first step toward the bop era's ultimate rejection of the use of the left hand for steady rhythm and concentration on the right for horn-like improvisation. Curiously, Teddy Wilson could more aptly have been called the trumpet-style pianist than Hines.
The Wilson approach was belittled by some experts as lacking fire and concentrating too much on academic precision, yet his slow-tempo performances in particular evidenced a great warmth and an approach that compensated in dignified, swinging simplicity for what it lacked in Hines* brilliant and sometimes flashy variety.
The Wilson influence was heard in scores of piano works of the late 1930s. Billy Kyle contrived to develop a personal quality directly out of the Wilson style, perhaps by restoring a little of the Hines sense of dyamics. Mary Lou Williams, a respected figure throughout the 1930s as the pianist-arranger with Andy Kirk's band, successfully blended Waller, Hines and Wilson touches and established herself as the first feminine jazz pianist of lasting importance.
Many other pianists came up in the Wilson era. A little of Teddy had rubbed off on all; a suggestion of Waller and Hines was reflected in many. There were Joe Bushkin, a prominent combo and big band sideman in 1935-40; Eddie Heywood Jr., who reached his jazz peak with the Benny Carter band of 1939-40 and with his own jazz sextet three years later; Herman Chittison, a largely unappreciated major talent whose trio decorated the New York night clubs of the 1940s and who, like Kyle, reflected himself rather than Wilson; Kenny Kersey, who followed Mary Lou into the Kirk band and revealed a harmonically progressive mind, using chord patterns no 1940 jazzman had a