Lester Young

An Introduction: His Best Recordings 1936-45

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AllMusic Review by

Tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Lester Young (1909-1959) is the hero of this Best of Jazz compilation, released in 1998. The first nine years of Prez's recording career have been tapped repeatedly over the years for choice examples of his personable artistry. This selection is satisfying, rewarding, and entertaining. Twelve of the 22 tracks originally appeared under Count Basie's name and the swinging "Circus in Rhythm" was performed by the Basie orchestra under the nominal leadership of alto saxophonist Earle Warren. Lester Young is also heard in close cahoots with pianist and leader Teddy Wilson, vocalist Billie Holiday, trombonist Dicky Wells, pianist Johnny Guarnieri, and as a cardinal member of that famous Commodore session band, the Kansas City Six.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:01
2 2:34
3
feat: Teddy Wilson
3:12
4 2:38
5 2:56
6 2:43
7 3:00
8 3:04
9 2:58
10 3:09
11 2:48
12 2:45
13
feat: Count Basie
3:19
14 3:04
15 2:42
16 3:30
17
feat: Dicky Wells
4:17
18 3:09
19 3:07
20
feat: Earle Warren
3:12
21 3:22
22 3:10
blue highlight denotes track pick