Can't stop listening, but not required listening
Paul Robertz | Chicago, IL | 09/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have thousands of jazz records/CDs since I started in high school30 years ago. I started with ragtime, stride piano, Dixieland, and started to understand and love the best from Armstrong to Art Enssemble. I have fixated on Monk, Fats Waller, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Art Blakey, and a few others who amazed me immediately. In college I knew that Lester Young was supposed to be important but his music never did much for me then. I knew he was historically important, sort of like Arnold Schoenberg, who is mentioned in most "music appreciation" courses taught by professors of European "classical" music.
About five years ago I bought this CD, used for $3, since this cheapskate saw so many stellar sidemen (Oscar Peterson, Vic Dickenson, Teddy Wilson, Roy Eldridge) and some great standard tunes. A couple years later, I tossed it in the car for a long road trip/vacation and put it on a few minutes before arriving at my destination. I left it in the CD player for every short trip on that vacation, and it sunk in! The lazy logic grew on me like a wart that wouldn't go away. Thanks to this CD, Lester Young is no longer a "moldy fig" that the jazz collector has to have.
This one is easy to find and afford, and bears repeated listening. It doesn't make me cry, like Prez' 1957 solo with Billie Holiday and the all star cast on "Fine and Mellow", and it it doesn't excite me as much as his late '30s work with Count Basie, but it has a way of growing. Perhaps this is not the one Lester Young album to own if you only own one, but it's a great way to start."