Funny, enlightening, with great music
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one is a real keeper. It is also an eye opener, and a lot of fun.Teddy Edwards is one of those great jazz players who I knew a little bit about, and always liked. He's not as famous as some of his collaborators, like Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon, but he is great nonetheless.What's so wonderful about this documentary is that it really gives time for Teddy's story and personality to emerge. Obviously, he was comfortable speaking on camera, and he talks frankly about a lot of things - his tough childhood growing up in Mississippi, racism, playing in whorehouses and strip clubs, performing on Central Avenue in Los Angeles. There's a lot of funny annecdotes and he presents a lot of the facts in his life. But you also get a strong feeling for his personal philosophy and his strong determination as an artist, even though he hasn't had the success he deserves.While his comments are very revealing, and there are some other nice interview sections with people like Dexter Gordon, Clora Bryant and Ernie Andrews, it is the music which is the most fascinating. It said in the liner notes that Teddy was in his 70s when the documentary was made, which is pretty amazing. Teddy's one sharp looking dude, who looks (and plays) like someone half his age. All the music looks and sounds great, and there is a lot of it, all in complete performances. When he is playing a ballad, though, you can tell it is the work of a seasoned pro. He really plays beautifully on two romantic numbers, "Regina" and "I'm So Afraid of Love".There are also some nice extras on the DVD, including another couple of music numbers, and a poem that Edwards recites, which is a very strong indictment of racism. Very intense."