Lester Young

Jazz at the Philharmonic, Frankfurt 1952

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This is a previously unreleased concert performance catching the J.A.T.P. troupe (this time featuring Lester Young, Flip Phillips, Roy Eldridge, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Max Roach and an uncredited Irving Ashby on guitar) on the last night of their European tour of 1952. After Norman Granz' introductions to an enthusiastic Frankfurt audience, the group kicks off with a swinging version of "How High the Moon" that goes on for some 11 minutes. This is followed by "Undecided," taken at an even faster pace but still clocking in at almost 12 minutes and featuring an extraordinary solos by Eldridge and Young. A "Ballad Medley" is next, spotlighting four selections interpreted as solo turns. Flip Phillips starts thing off with a nice reading of "Deep Purple," segueing into Roy Eldridge's take on "Rockin' Chair." Next up is Hank Jones' nice, understated version of "This Is Always," which sets the stage for Lester Young's stunning "I Cover the Waterfront." The concert closes with an uptempo "Dre's Blues," which speeds up to an almost impossible tempo after Max Roach's drum solo. All in all, another classic entry in this long-standing series that languished in the vaults for far too long.

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