Pres in Europe

Pres in Europe

by Lester YoungLester Young


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Lester Young is heard with two separate rhythm sections during two 1956 broadcasts recorded in Europe. Although the fidelity is somewhat muddy, Young's rich tone is very distinct during the first four tracks, where he is joined by pianist Lasse Werner, bassist Al King, and drummer Lex Humphries. His lush rendition of "These Foolish Things" is marvelous, but the closing "Lester's European Blues" ends up being the most historically important track, as it documents the tenor saxophonist's longest improvisation ever recorded, an incredible 39 choruses. Unfortunately, the song is faded just past the nine-minute mark as Werner's solo gets underway. The sound quality drops a bit for the two incomplete selections from a television broadcast, which were taped directly from a television's loudspeaker. Joining Young are pianist René Urteger, bassist Pierre Michelot, and drummer Christian Garros, though the focus during these relatively brief excerpts is exclusively on Young. While "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" is enjoyable, there are many better versions by Young of "Lester Leaps In" than this one, which is rather repetitious. This release, which first appeared as an Onyx LP in the 1970s, was reissued by High Note in 2000, and the label took the trouble to update Dan Morgenstern's excellent liner notes. So this historic material is well worth purchasing in spite of any sound flaws.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/22/2000
Label: Highnote
UPC: 0632375705428
catalogNumber: 757054
Rank: 80553

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