Lester Young

The Lester Young Story, Vol. 2

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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

This series of five two-LP sets featuring Lester Young's recordings for Columbia is a bit odd because the great tenor did not lead any sessions for that label. Vol. 2, with the exception of his solo on "Honeysuckle Rose" from Benny Goodman's famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert, consists entirely of Billie Holiday recordings. The main value to this set (since all of the master takes of Holiday's records are now out on CD) is that there are eight alternate takes included among these 24 performances, making this two-fer of greatest value to serious collectors who will want to hear these rare versions of "When You're Smiling," "If Dreams Come True" and "Back in Your Own Backyard."