Monday, November 8, 2010
A Trove of Teddy
Through circuitous means that I'm both unable and unwilling to fully disclose, I've come into the possession of three boxes of recordings once owned by the late Theodore Jan Wilson. The bassist died March 9.
Nothing that could be easily resold to a secondhand dealer remained when I acquired the collection. All that's left are hundreds of cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes encrusted with dust, grime and dead spiders. Most of the collection consists of home recordings of albums and radio broadcasts containing jazz and classical content. Handwritten notes describe each item. A male voice, presumably Wilson's, narrates a few tapes in the style of a disc jockey on a jazz program.
A few items, however, have value as more than curiosities. Wilson was the son of jazz pianist Teddy Wilson. The collection of castoffs includes a number of live Teddy Wilson recordings. I'm unable to find corresponding commercially released versions of some of the material, leading me to believe that I'm hearing private recordings of Wilson performances.
I'd like to donate this trove to an appropriate entity. As far as I know, the staffs of the American Jazz Museum and the Marr Sound Archives have already combed through this collection. If not, either organization is welcome to it, as is any of Wilson's remaining family. Interested parties may leave a comment here or contact me via email. My address is posted above.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)