Helyne Stewart (vcl), Teddy Edwards (ts, arr), Jack Sheldon (tp), Frank Rosolino (tb), Art Pepper (as), Pete Jolly, Phineas Newborn Jr., Danny Horton (p), Jimmy Bond, Leroy Vinnegar (b), Frank Butler, Milt Turner (d)
Reference: FSRCD 719
Bar code: 8427328607193
When tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards (1924-2003), a key man in the Los Angeles Central Avenue jazz scene of the 40s, re-emerged in the late 50s after a decade eclipsed by the cool West Coast clique, his phrasing was largely unchanged, but, as these two albums show, his tone had softened.
On the first session of Love Moods, his uncluttered septet arrangements aimed to provide a comfortable setting for his protégé Helyne Stewart, a soulful, subtle singer whom Edwards admired from the first time he heard her. On this joyful debut she sings with a really lovely voice, swinging wonderfully on a set of well-known songs, backed by a superb group including trumpeter Jack Sheldon, trombonist Frank Rosolino and altoist Art Pepperall great horn players who contribute significantly at key points to the success of the album. For the remaining tracks with her, Edwards used his own quartet featuring the thoughtful pianist Phineas Newborn, along with bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Milt Turner in a fine rhythm section.
Its with this quartet, except for pianist Danny Horton, who replaces Newborn on some tracks, that he made Good Gravy!, an album of mainly standards. Edwards is in excellent form throughout, bringing a wealth of experience and talent to bear on a well-judged programme.
"[...] 'Love Moods', first recorded for Contemporary in 1956, highlights singer Helyne Stewart, a protégé and discovery of Teddy Edwards, who led the accompanying group. Stewart, another little-known singer who seemed to have disappeared from the scene after this outing, is a soulful and secure stylist who must have listened to a bit of Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan. Stewart has a refreshing purity about her that avoids excess or clichés. The overdone "The Man I Love" is not overdone in Stewart's hands, nor are "How Deep is the Ocean or "That Old Feeling."
Bruce Klauber -All About Jazz (November 22, 2012)