Lester Young Trio

Lester Young Trio

There are some that still maintain that Lester Young suffered such traumas during his World War Two military service that he never again produced the joyous form that marked his playing during his Count Basie period. The trio titles on this collection give the lie to that story, for in the Spring of 1946 when the recordings were made he played brilliantly. The unusual instrumentation of just tenor, piano and drums meant that Young could not phrase behind the beat to the extent of his earlier work and this gives his playing a new impetus. He produces long, serpentine lines over the pulsating drive of Buddy Rich's expert brushwork and the glittering piano backing of Nat King Cole. (Cole had signed a contract with Capitol Records and had to appear on the original LP issue as "Aye Guy"). The trio date comes complete with a couple of alternative takes while the relaxed "Peg O' My Heart" is a tenor-piano duet produced casually while Rich left the studio temporarily in search of food. To increase the playing time to a respectable 60 minutes, four 1943 vintage Dexter Gordon Quintet titles have been added featuring another ex-Count Basie soloist, trumpeter Harry Edison. --<I>Steve Voce</I>