Jazz gold age
Vik | Italy | 01/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A quite complete collection from which you can have a glimpse of the golden years of jazz and listen to the most representative works from a sax master"
Awesome box set!
bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff | USA | 08/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lester Young has quickly become one of my all-time favorite tenor players. The price for this 4 CD box set alone makes it a must buy. However, the material here is first rate.
Lester Young's solo on Ad-Lib Blues with the Benny Goodman octet is worth the price of admission alone. Lester's solo breaks are amazing! The harmonic sophistication and "badness" Lester communicates on this track makes him sound 20 years ahead of his time. Ascending and descending minor thirds in half steps, swinging relentlessly, call to mind Jackie McLean or Wayne Shorter as opposed to Benny Goodman. If one doubted Lester Young was a genius before, this set should put to rest any doubts.
It is not overstating the case to say that without Lester Young modern jazz would sound entirely different. Charlie Parker was heavily influenced by Young. Thus, without Lester Young, the primary genius behind the evolution of Bebop would have sounded entirely different, or worse still, would have gone uninspired. Ornithology, a famous Parker tune, is quite evidently inspired by one of Young's solos.
This set is a great example of Lester Young and a wonderful introduction to his playing for the price. If the price is not prohibitive for you, I also recommend The Complete Lester Young Studio Sessions on Verve. I sadly do not own this box set, but I have many of the albums that comprise it. I know some think that the later Lester Young is not as worth listening to as the earlier. I disagree.
A relationship with the music of Lester Young will enrich your life. You should buy this set."
A Great Place to Start With One of the Giants of Jazz
MDC | 11/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When dealing with classic jazz more often than not the big question is where to start. Myself, I am usually against compilations. Generally speaking I like to have whole albums reflecting what an artist did, on a partcular session, with particular musicians backing him or her.
This is the exception.
I have several Proper Box selections and in my opinion this is the best and most indispensable. This box covers the majority of Lester Youngs' important recordings, with the Count Basie Orchestra, Billie Holliday and various other groupings until 1949. The commonly held belief is that after World War II service, his talent diminished. That may or not be true (in my opinion it's not) but it's hard to argue that this collection isn't a watershed of all that was great in early swing.
I won't spend a lot of time justifying Lester Youngs place in jazz history. He is without doubt one of the greatest tenors in jazz history. This is a great way to be introduced to his work. Some of the recordings are just amazing. For example, the live 12 plus minute rendition of "Lester Leaps In" is superb, superb. There is simply no better way to get an overview of Lester Youngs work during his early years, exept by means of a compiliation. When taking to account the choices of songs, completeness, sound quality, packaging and perhaps most important of all, the economics, this Proper Jazz collection is the best.
In addition the liner notes are a great supplement and really paint a vivid picture of Youngs' contributions.
Without a doubt, this is a great cost efficient way to review most of the career of an absolute legend.