Lester Young Trio
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One of Lester Young's most memorable post-World War II dates came in 1946, when he entered a Los Angeles studio and formed a trio that employed Nat King Cole on piano and Buddy Rich on drums. In 1994, the results of that classic encounter, which Norman Granz produced for his Clef label, were reissued on the CD Lester Young Trio. Unfortunately, the sound is pretty scratchy, and one wishes that Verve had used digital remastering to reduce the noise. But the performances themselves are outstanding. From the blues "Back to the Land" to the soulful ballad statements of "The Man I Love" and "I Cover the Waterfront," Lester Young Trio explodes the absurd myth that Young's postwar output is of little or no value — a myth that many jazz critics have been all too happy to promote. The CD's four bonus tracks (which include "Sweet Lorraine," "Rosetta" and "I've Found a New Baby") come from a 1943 or 1944 session that didn't employ Young at all, but rather, was led by tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon and features trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and Cole, among others. Listeners might ask what that session, which was Gordon's first as a leader, has to do with Young, and the answer is that it illustrates Young's tremendous influence on Gordon. At that point, Gordon still sounded a lot like Young, was still playing swing rather than bebop and had yet to develop a recognizable sound of his own, although by 1945, Gordon would become quite distinctive and influential himself. Highly recommended.
Mean to me is just the opposite. Ahh prez how could I not know this one? The '94 release must be it. Nat King Cole and Rich are incomparable as well. The tracks are scratchy but the music shines.
Perfect (The Music, Not The Recording)
The music on this album is nothing short of perfect as you have three jazz greats working together. However, it should probably be remastered a bit but the cackling sounds does give it a certain charm to the music that sends you into another world.
This is the album that made me a Lester Young fan. Back to the Land. Essential
Born: August 27, 1909 in Woodville, MS
Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s