Teddy Charles (1928-2012) - JazzWax

« Zoot Sims: Hollywood, 1970 | Main | Chet Baker: Germany, 1956 »

April 19, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dave Larsson

Another wonderful tribute. Thanks for the info, and thanks, Teddy, for the beautiful music.

Jon Foley

It's interesting how alike the careers of Teddy and Hal McKusick were: Both prominent in the New York jazz scene of the '50s, both made hundreds of recordings (many together), both were involved in the Third Stream and other experimental music at times, both had multiple careers - Teddy: vibist, pianist, composer, producer, deep sea diver, charter boat captain; Hal: multi-instrumentalist, teacher, photographer, woodcarver, pilot. And both were close in age and ended up living and dying on Long Island, within miles of each other and within about a week of each other. It's sad that they're gone, but they sure had long and worthwhile lives. We should all be so talented and lucky.

Michael Palmer

A nice tribute Marc and written with feeling. Not the usual facts and figures that are usually churned out. I'll be playing "Salute to Hamp" with Brookmeyer and Zoot today. Farewell TC

Alan Hill

The picture of Teddy Charles with Lawrence Marable, Frank Morgan, Dick Nivison, Wardell Gray and Sonny Clark made my eyes light up. Rather a lot of talent concentrated in that one frame.

How sad that neither Gray nor Clark made it to 35. But Frank Morgan's comeback was a wonderful thing.

The first Teddy Charles track I ever heard was the coldly beautiful interpretation of Nature Boy on the 1956 Tentet album. It's time to get the album out and listen to it again.

Sally Phillips

"Aishie" was written for Ted's sister Elaine, as that was her nick name. I am Ted's niece, and Elaine's daughter. They were very close, 2 years apart in age, and several years younger than their siblings, George and Gert.

Rita F. Cohen

I am Rita Feldman Cohen, Teddy's first cousin. Teddy's mother, Sophie Cohen, was my mother Sylvia Lerner Feldman's older sister. Growing up in Rochester, NY, instead of Springfield, MA, where Teddy lived, I only saw him infrequently, but everyone was so proud of his musical accomplishments. He was closer to my brother, Paul, who adored Teddy and kept in touch with him. We connected again a few times when he was playing in NYC and my husband and I were privileged to enjoy his music.Like many famous musicians, he had an exciting private and public life.I only regret that we did not get to know each other better but time and distance separated our paths. I knew his sister Elaine and his elder siblings, Gertrude and George. Now I hope to stay connected to my second (third?) cousins, Sally and Gail, his beloved neices, who were with him at the end of his life. Rita Feldman Cohen.

Marc Segal

Teddy's sister Gert was my Grandmother. I wish I knew Teddy better. I was trying to get up to see Teddy with my parents Robert and Annette Segal and my wife and kids. Thanks for posting these music clips! I will play them to my boys (ages 7 & 5) so they can hear Teddy's brillance. Their first exposure to Jazz will be listening to their great, great uncle (I think I have that right)on the Vibes. First I have to explain to them what the Vibes are. Not sure how they will respond to his music. Its nothing like the music they listen to now on the Disney Channel or on the radio. It'll be a fun experience though!

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

Contact me


Click the cover to pre-order my new book, due Nov. 1.

Subscribe Free

Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Search JazzWax

  • JazzWax

JazzWax Interviewed

WSJ Articles

JazzWax Interviews

Audio Note

  • Audio clips that appear below JazzWax posts support editorial content that links readers directly to Amazon and other third-party music retailers.

Marc Myers on Video

JATP Programs