Lester Young

The Pres: Jazz Immortals Series, Vol. 2

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Little is known about the music heard on this Savoy release, other than that it comes from a jam session the legendary saxophonist Lester Young performed with trumpeter Jessie Drake on April 2, 1950. While the recording quality isn't great, the performances heard here are memorable, and there's a real feeling of immediacy while listening to Pres and his band wail.

Ultimately, this CD offers a compelling look at jazz musicianship for one main reason--the jam session offers a rare insider's view into the real playing abilities of musicians, since there are no second takes or overdubs. Lester Young and company really shine here, making songs such as "Lester's Blues No. 2," "Body & Soul," and Young's own classic composition, "One O'Clock Jump," an intriguing and wholly unique listen.

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