LESTER YOUNG — Lester Young: Ken Burns Jazz

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LESTER YOUNG - Lester Young: Ken Burns Jazz cover
4.00 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Boxset / Compilation · 2000

Filed under Swing
By LESTER YOUNG

Tracklist

1. Oh, Lady, Be Good! 3:09
2. Every Tub 3:17
3. Honeysuckle Rose 3:00
4. Pagin' The Devil 3:00
5. A Sailboot In The Moonlight 2:51
6. He's Funny That Way 2:40
7. Getting Some Fun Out of Life 3:03
8. If Dreams Come True 3:05
9. Taxi War Dance 2:52
10. 12Th Street Rag 3:05
11. Clap Hands! 2:31
12. Lester Leaps In 3:16
13. Tickle Toe 2:40
14. Sometimes I'm Happy The 3:11
15. I've Found A New Baby 4:06
16. D. B. Blues 3:00
17. Jumpin With Symphony Sid 3:11
18. This Years Kisses 6:46
19. Polka Dots And Moonbeams 3:35

Line-up/Musicians

About this release

Verve

Recorded between 1936 and 1957

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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LESTER YOUNG LESTER YOUNG: KEN BURNS JAZZ reviews

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js
“Lester Young: Ken Burns Jazz” is a great collection of Lester Young tunes that is often criticized for its sound quality. Personally I find most of this CD to be fine, but unfortunately I think what gives people such a bad impression is that the worst moments come at the very beginning. The first 30 seconds are unbearable with a loud hiss that buries the opening piano, but after that first half a minute, the instruments seem to strengthen and the rest of the CD seems to be OK, except for “Twelfth Street Rag“, which also suffers from a very prominent hiss. Having said all that, the music on here is excellent. Lester Young is one of those rare instrumental voices who transforms every tune he plays into a personal statement. Often credited with being one of the first great jazz soloists to take a cool approach to soloing as opposed to the expected “hot” approach, Young’s languid and slightly off-kilter phrases matched with his smooth sound can be mesmerizing.

This CD does a good job of spanning Young’s entire career and includes some good performances from late in his career when he had supposedly lost his skills due to alcohol. The different settings Young is cast in on here include many sides with the Count Basie Orchestra and its many smaller off-shoots like the Kansas City Six, as well as some cuts that feature his legendary accompaniments to the sultry Billie Holiday and some cuts that feature Young as a leader. The tunes recorded with Basie seem to show what Young was best at. The Basie Orchestra was anything but cool and their high energy romps and tight riffs make for a perfect foil for Young’s rhythmically loose solos that blur the crisp lines of the big band. Due to some of the sound issues, this may not be the best Young collection to buy, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is some excellent music.

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