Lester Young With the Oscar Peterson Trio
Lester Young & Oscar Peterson Trio
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Defying what has become conventional wisdom, tenor saxophonist Lester Young cut some of his greatest recordings in the 1950s — that is, when he was reasonably healthy. On this wonderful effort with pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer J.C. Heard, Prez performs definitive versions of "Just You, Just Me" and "Tea for Two," and plays a string of concise but memorable ballad renditions: "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Almost Like Being in Love," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "I'm Confessin'." This is essential music from a jazz legend. [Some reissues augment the original dozen songs with a version of the good-humored "It Takes Two to Tango," which features Young's only recorded vocals, plus a rather unnecessary false start (on "I Can't Get Started," ironically), along with some studio chatter.]
Born: 27 August 1909 in Woodville, MS
Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s