Lester Young Pres in Europe
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- Released: February 22, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Highnote
- 1.Lester Leaps In
- 2.These Foolish Things
- 3.There Will Never Be Another You
- 4.Lester's European Blues
- 5.Lullaby Of Birdland
- 6.Polka Dots And Moonbeams
- 7.Lester Leaps In
Personnel: Lester Young (tenor saxophone); Lasse Werner, Rene Urtreger (piano); Al King, Pierre Michelot (bass); Lex Humphries, Christian Garros (drums).
Producer: Don Schlitten.
Reissue producer: Joe Fields.
Recorded in November 1956. Includes liner notes by Dan Morgenstern.
Digitally remastered by Malcolm Addey.
Personnel: Lester Young (tenor saxophone); Lasse Werner, Ren‚ Urtreger (piano); Christian Garros, Lex Humphries (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Malcolm Addey.
Liner Note Author: Dan Morgenstern.
Recording information: 11/09/1956.
Some jazz scholars argue that Lester Young's playing was never the same after his tenure in the military, where he was probably the victim of fierce racism. However, others claim that, due to his experiences in the army, his music became more sensitive, more beautifully subtle, and more finely wrought. Either way, his sound did become more airy, and more elegant (or delicate, depending on your point of view), in his postwar period.
By the time of this recording, Pres was already in the throes of alcoholism, and not at his best. However, this live album documenting two dates in 1956, three years before his death, shows that his powers of invention were never impaired. Young plays creatively on all seven tracks, two of which are only short fragments. He really shines here on the ballads "These Foolish Things" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," and renders effective melodic twists and turns on his own classic composition, "Lester Leaps In." For Young aficionados, PRES IN EUROPE is essential, if only to get an idea of the legendary saxophonist's playing acumen in his final years.
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