Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

440

Lester Young: Centennial Celebration Lester Young

By

Sign in to view read count
Although he'd lived a scant 50 hard years when he died in 1959, tenor sax giant Lester Willis Young was and remains one of the most vital and influential forces in jazz. He used words as singularly as he played, dubbing Billie Holiday "Lady Day"; theirs was an incomparable musical pairing and she returned the favor, calling him "Prez" for president. Prez proved to be the key link between the early jazz of Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins with the bop of the '40s. Among the legions of players influenced by his playing were Stan Getz, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims.

Sides 1-7 in this Centennial Celebration are from a 1956 Washington, DC gig in a relatively intimate setting as Young swings comfortably with musicians mostly a generation younger than himself. His playing is elegant, eloquent and subtle. Inventiveness and brisk pace on "Tea For Two" transform that chestnut while on "I Can't Get Started" he slows down and plays real pretty. For "Oh Lady, Be Good," a standard from his celebrated days with the '30s Count Basie band, he kicks the tempo up, swinging solidly in tandem with trombonist Earl Swope. Throughout he displays the surprising rhythmic and melodic style for which he was famous. On "Just You, Just Me," Prez ebulliently calls out "beautiful" after a particularly sizzling drum solo from Jim Lucht.

The last three sides included are from Jazz at the Philharmonic performances and find Young in company with the likes ofOscar Peterson, Roy Eldridge, Herb Ellis and Max Roach, giants all. The closer is Young's own signature tune, "Lester Leaps In," with the blazing heat of his soloing eliciting cheers and whistles from the audience.

Track Listing: Jumpin' With Symphony Sid; Tea For Two; I Can't Get Started; Pennies From Heaven; I'm Confessin' (That I Love You); Oh; Lady; Be Good; Just You; Just Me; Undecided; I Cover the Waterfront; Lester Leaps In.

Personnel: Sides 1-9: Lester Young: tenor saxophone. Sides 1-7: Earl Swope: trombone; Bill Potts: piano; Norman Williams: bass; Jim Lucht: drums. Side 8: Flip Phillips: tenor saxophone; Roy Eldridge: trumpet; Hank Jones: piano; Ray Brown: bass; Max Roach: drums. Sides 9 and 10: Oscar Peterson: piano; Herb Ellis: guitar; Ray Brown: bass; J.C. Heard: drums.

Title: Centennial Celebration Lester Young | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Original Jazz Classics

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Anniversary" CD/LP/Track Review Anniversary
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 25, 2018
Read "The Treasury Shows Vol. 25" CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows Vol. 25
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 11, 2018
Read "All Melody" CD/LP/Track Review All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "The Poetry of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review The Poetry of Jazz
by Duncan Heining
Published: October 27, 2018
Read "The Fearless Flyers" CD/LP/Track Review The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "Walk The Walk" CD/LP/Track Review Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018