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Lester Young: In Washington, DC 1956, Vol. 4

AAJ Staff By

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Some jazz critics contend that Lester "The Prez" Young went downhill after World War II, but don't believe it for a minute. The seminal tenorist (who died in 1958) continued to excel during the last years of his life, and one of the great things about his 1950s output is the fact that LPs gave him a lot more room to stretch out. Underscoring the excellence of late period Prez, this album is the last of four volumes documenting an appearance at Olivia Davis' Patio Lounge in Washington, DC in 1956. Prez is backed by a local rhythm section comprising pianist Bill Potts, bassist Norman Williams and drummer Jim Lucht—not a fantastic trio, but a decent one that shows itself to be competent on such familiar material as "Pennies From Heaven," "I Cover The Waterfront" and Young's own "D.B. Blues." Young is as soulful and charismatic as ever, and his distinctive playing reminds us of the tremendous impact he'd had on Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Paul Quinichette, Phil Urso and countless other disciples. In fact, one could argue that The Prez was the king of the Cool School.

Highly recommended.



Reprinted with the permission of Myrna Daniels and L.A. Jazz Scene , the largest jazz publication in Southern California.


Title: In Washington, DC 1956, Vol. 4 | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz

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