My favorite Lester Young !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
rash67 | USA | 05/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD - recorded, surprizingly, AFTER World War II and Lester's well-documented Army problems, is my favorite Lester Young. His tone is cool, sweet and breathy. The inspiration to Stan Getz and a decade of Cool sax players. He is happy and cheerful in the swing songs and does a great job on the ballads without rushing them.Particularly effective is "Body and Soul" and "Indiana".Some of these tracks overlap the "Alladin" Sessions and a Verve recording. This one has the best sound. Nat "King" Cole plays great accompanying piano. "Hyperactive" piano. Lester and Nat's lines flow and dance around each other.Yeah it's scratchy, tubey, from 78 shellac masters and vacuum tube amps, but this is Lester at his best!Five stars for performance, losing a half star for recording quality, which is about as good as can be expected with the originals."
Favorite Lester Young
rash67 | USA | 12/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Always my favorite Lester Young album, with the perfect version of "Indiana" Cole and Trio were still doing Jazz and this point and Lester was the precursor of "Cool". "The Prez" as he was called by Billie Holiday, Lester's style was rebuked by blacks as not being loud and Jazzy enough, Lester was accused of not being "manly" enough, not playing like Coleman Hawkins, etc, but both Cole and Young continued doing their thing. (Later Nat King Cole would be accused of the same thing...). This album, this music was a big influence on Stan Getz in his formative years.
Later, Young would have problem with drugs and alcohol and depression. The shy Young was drafted into the Army in WWII, got caught smoking marijuana and then beaten when it was discovered he was married to a white woman and left in the brig. In the 50's he felt the Cool artists of the fifties copied his style without acknowledgement.
But here he is at his peaceful melodic best: happy and upbeat "Indiana" or soulful, melancholy "Body and Soul", "I Cover The Waterfront".
I have many Lester Young albums, this is the one I listen to most!
Recording quality - transfer quality is good, as good as can be expected for this period.
The more expensive Aladdin sessions a two disc set includes this CD."
Once again...I am following rash67!!
douglasnegley | Pittsburgh, Pa. United States | 09/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, I agree, Prez sounds quite inspired, perhaps because of Nat Cole - ripping and romping on the keyboard. Anyone who is familiar with the Cole classics would not even recognize this piano, man. I have an older Verve LP called "Lester Swings" - but, alas, the Nat Cole sides are really unlistenable due to a bad "promo" pressing. I also have the LP "Giants Three", which includes some of this stuff - Buddy Rich is the drummer - but only 7 tracks. I heartily recommend this CD along with the overlapping material for good Prez, but spectacular Cole. The Verve material was recorded in 1945, almost immediately after Lester returned from his Army stint."