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This Is Jazz 26
Lester Young
This Is Jazz 26
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Lester Young
Title: This Is Jazz 26
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 5/6/1997
Release Date: 5/6/1997
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Cool Jazz, Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 074646504222, 5099706504221

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CD Reviews

Flawed Compilation of a Jazz Giant
Tom Moran | New York, NY United States | 02/22/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Lester Young was one of the greatest figures in the history of jazz, and might be, along with Bix Beiderbecke, my personal favorite. But this CD is a poor introduction to his work.The irony is that CBS/Sony, the company that put out this one-CD compilation, released in the 1970s a multi-LP set of Lester Young recordings that to this day remains the best introduction to his music. But it has never been released on compact disc. Why not? I have no idea.The cuts on this CD, meanwhile, feel as if they were arbitrarily (and sometimes capriciously) chosen. There's Shoe Shine Boy, of course, arguably the greatest debut recording in the history of jazz. But where's his equally famous recording of Lady Be Good? Not here. Neither are most of the great tracks he recorded in collaboration with Billie Holiday during 1936-37, and of the two that are here, only I Must Have That Man gives you an idea of the odd psychic nature of their collaboration (so dramatically demonstrated in the second chorus of Me Myself and I, not included on this CD). There's also not a trace of the great performances that Pres did with Jazz at the Philharmonic starting after WWII, although this is probably for contractual reasons. But a cut from the frankly silly sessions that John Hammond put together with organist Glenn Hardman has been stuck in. Why? Beats me. Did the people who put together this CD (the choices are credited to James Isaacs, who also wrote the liner notes) know what they were doing? Or were they just trying to be different, and avoid the obvious choices? I haven't got a clue, but if you want a CD that gives you a good idea of why so many people consider Lester Young one of the best jazz musicians ever, this won't do it. My recommendation would be to try and find the multi-LP set of The Lester Young Story (especially Volume II: A Musical Romance), which will give you an idea of why Lester Young was considered "The President" not only by Billie Holiday, but by just about everyone who ever heard him play."