Savoy Jazz continues to celebrate it’s revival by releasing a complete anthology of Lester ‘Prez” Young’s recordings for Savoy. This collection is divided into two separate and distinct periods in Young’s life.
The first to be explored is the recordings he did in a two-week period in 1944 as both a sideman and as a bandleader. The first twenty tracks are culled from sessions he did on April 18th of 1944 with the Johnny Guarnieri All-Star Orchestra and Earle warren Orchestra. Had it not been pointed out by the excellent and annotated liner note by Loren Schoenberg, there would be no real way of telling for sure that Young was even on these sessions. His solos are staid but true to the orchestra for which he recorded. However, the final six tracks on the first disk have Young leading his own Quintet (featuring Count Basie on piano) and while not as profound as he would become, the true character and tone of Young’s tenor begins to move forward. This is particularly evident on the master take of “Jump, Lester, Jump.”
Disk two offers a collection of two post-war recordings done by Young with his Sextet in the studio in 1949 and ‘in performance’ in 1950 with his Quintet. Due to natural artistic evolution, more freedom in the studio and confidence in his abilities to lead his own group, Young truly stretches out and fires all cylinders into the microphone and to the audience in attendance. As soon as you purchase this CD, immediately play Young’s live recording of “Body and Soul,” (Track #12), as it is nothing short of a dynamic piece of ear candy from this fearless tenor sax-man and his quintet.
Savoy does another great job with their re-issue campaign, as they fully explore many aspects of an artists career recording for the historic label and provide wonderful insights in the liner notes.
Track Listing: Disk One
With Johnny Guarnieri
Personnel: Lester Young - sax
Count Basie - piano
Johnny Guarnieri - piano
Sweets Edison - trumpet
Earle Warren - alto sax
Jo Jones - drums
Roy Haynes - drums
and many others
I fell in love with jazz through my dad Bobby Hirst who was a jazz pianist for over 50 years around the UK and Europe. He was such a modest man but an incredible musician. I tinkered with piano but found myself drawn to guitar after listening to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell
I fell in love with jazz through my dad Bobby Hirst who was a jazz pianist for over 50 years around the UK and Europe. He was such a modest man but an incredible musician. I tinkered with piano but found myself drawn to guitar after listening to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. Misty by Erroll Garner is one of my favourite tracks. My current choice of guitars are Gibson ES335 & ES175 although I only own Epiphone copies at present. I also play classical guitar and love to play jazz on them. I have recently moved to Leeds from York and hoping to meet new friends in the jazz community.