Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lester Young

A jazz interlude.

Did I say that I don’t know much about jazz? I don’t. So there’s a part of me that feels like a fraud when I write about Lester Young or Miles Davis, even for having it in my collection…

Thing is, though, that listening to jazz, apart from the cost of the CD or LP, (ok ok, or MP3s) costs nothing. I go to the library and I can borrow what I want: Coltrane, Peterson, Byrd, Satchmo, Benny Goodman, Wynton Marsalis, I play while I work, and if it sounds good it sounds good. And I don’t have to understand what made Miles Davis great, what Ornette Coleman was trying to, what makes Roland Kirk weird. Just let it roll man, let it roll…

This is the Compact Jazz release Lester Young And The Piano Giants. By the time the rock and roll era rolled around, Young was past his prime, and his best music was behind him (or so I’m told; I know nothing about jazz, honestly). So I guess each tune has some pianist of renown, but that’s not unusual in the jazz world, where stars play on on another’s albums as a matter of course.

Lester Young:

Just You Just Me – Not to be confused with Just You And Me by Chicago.
Too Marvelous For Words – What better title for an instrumental.
This Year’s Kisses – Billie Holiday did this also.
September In The Rain – A standard, I have a version by Dinah Washington, and an unofficial one by The Beatles.
Red Boy Blues – Is there a song called Blue Boy Reds?
I Want To Be Happy
Up ‘N’ Adam – Dedicate this to my dear brother-in-law…
Pass Returns – Joe Pass undoubtedly.
Three Little Words – a, the, it.

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