For Young's sound
nadav haber | jerusalem Israel | 04/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lester Young sounds so tired here, still he is the reason most people would buy this CD, and they would be right.Like Billie Holiday, Young's personality was transparent - everything he felt showed up in his sound. Here he is tired, introspective, disillusioned. When he plays the beautiful solo on "Its the talk of the town" he tells a story as no other musician I know. Technical skill becomes irrelevant, it is just a story being told. It is a sad story, told by a beautiful person. There are many musicians who could swing, play fast or slow, and do it sounding good. But there is only one Lester Young, and to hear him in a relaxed studio atmosphere with a good sound quality is a rare experience. This CD also offers harry Edison in top form, Buddy Rich in a setting he thrives at (unlike the session with Parker and Gillespie, where he was clearly unfit), and Oscar Peterson who ALWAYS sounds good."
A solid small group swing session (firstname.lastname@example.org)
William Faust | Columbus, Ohio | 03/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Young and Edison go way back. Both played in the late 30's/early 40's Basie band and in fact Young was the one who gave Edison his nickname "Sweets" when he first joined Basie in 1937. This is a solid small group swing session originally recorded in 1955. Edison is at the top of his game here having left Basie in 1950 to become one of the most sought-after studio musicians in Los Angeles. In fact, this session was recorded in the middle of his Sinatra period when he was backing the Chairman for Capitol records' "swingin" LPs. The rhythm section is first class - basically Oscar Peterson's trio plus Buddy Rich who most people associate with big bands but actually was one of the most adept small ensemble swing drummers ever. The only disappointment here is Young who sounds a bit flat, tired and uninspired on most charts. But this was recorded only 4 years prior to his death and so health may have played a role. Nonetheless, its a great disc with a nice collection of blues and standards that shouldn't be overlooked."