Along with Wardell Gray and Harold Land, Teddy Edwards was one of the leading LA boppers of the post WWII era that got ignored by the Least Coasters. He made a number of obscure releases; all are great, and this one’s probably his best. In 1960, he recorded on Contemporary with Leroy Vinnegar/b, Joe Castro/p, and Billy Higgins/dr, stretching out on a boppin’ take of Hampton Hawes’ “The Sermon.” The original “Higgins’ Hideaway” is a catchy tune, with everyone lock in step like thoroughbreds pulling the local carriage through the Wild West. The dust flies around on this burning set.
The West Coast Jazz craze was not especially accommodating to the more blues-based players in Los Angeles; but by 1960, when public taste had shifted to soulful music, neglected California veterans like tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards finally got the chance to be heard. Of course Teddy was ready--he had been on of L.A.'s first bebop converts in the Forties, and had honed his gritty style in the ensuing years. The quartet heard on this album was a cooperative unit that worked locally under bassist Leroy Vinnegar's name, recorded a year earlier under pianist Joe Castro's name for Atlantic, and is completed by then-New Star Billy Higgins. This is the group's finest moment, and a key session by a strong tenor voice.