Pres and Teddy
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Presque un album testament. Nous sommes en 1956 et Lester Young s'approche doucement d'une mort qu'il doit sentir insidieuse (une crise cardiaque l'emportera trois ans plus tard). Il enregistre alors en compagnie du pianiste Teddy Wilson cet album touchant et poignant qui semble se promener au clair de lune, au crépuscule d'une vie bien remplie. Celle de Young le fut assurément. Son legs est considérable : il est sans doute à l'origine de nombreuses vocations du jazz west coast, be et même hard-bop. On peut aisément penser que des saxophonistes aussi essentiels que John Coltrane ou Sonny Rollins se sont inspirés de son jeu fin et racé qui tranchait avec celui des "souffleurs" du type Coleman Hawkins. Une sorte de quête ultime illumine ce disque d'une profonde beauté. Sans doute l'un des albums de Lester Young que tout néophyte se doit d'acquérir s'il veut découvrir ce saxophoniste. --Eric Frank
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Top Customer Reviews
However, many say, and I say, that this mixture of Teddy and Prez was a match made in Heaven. Lots of the old Basieites evaluated Teddy and Prez along with the Jazz Giants as one of the great Lester Young Recordings of the 1950s. Myself, I would add Prez's last album with Sweets and Little Jazz where Lester with just weeks to live played Clarinet on a lot of numbers. I couldn't get that one out of the CD player for a week after I bought it.
A lot of people believe the excellence of these particular recordings come from the fact that Prez was recorded not with rhythm players who were young Beboppers like he hired for his own combos, or the great Oscar Peterson, but when he had a rhythm section and accompanist who were of the same generation of swing players as Prez.
I certainly think that is true here. Teddy Wilson's piano playing always had the an approach similar to Prez's. He played with restraint and coolness while swinging.
Many of the Basieites, who recorded with Prez, Billie, and Teddy for Columbia in the 1930s, claimed he just didn't swing and wished they could have used Basie on the sides Teddy cut with Billie and also with other Basieites and Mildred Bailey.Read more ›
This extraordinary 1956 record by Lester Young has to figure in everyone's discotheque.A real must.
Here is a quartet you can dream of: Lester,Teddy Wilson on piano,Gene Ramey on bass and the Master,the greatest jazz drummer of all times, Jo Jones.(don't confuse him with Philly Joe Jones).
1956.Pres is 47,and three years ,two months and a couple of days later,he died at 49.Pres is 46,but he is old,tired of living in a world he doesn't understand.Pres drinks too much,Pres takes too much dope,Pres is starting to commit a long suicide.BUt here,Pres swings like he did twenty years before;maybe he thinks of the Basie days;maybe he thinks of his fantastic works with the young Billie Holiday ("I'll never be the same","this years's kisses",...);here Pres is in top form,swinging like mad.The greatest tenor sax player of all times,and one of the five greatest jazz artists of all times gives here one of his most majestic record.Here is an immense moment of music.Pres' versions of "all of me","Louise","love me or leave me","taking a chance on love","love is here to stay" are essential moments in the art of playing ballads.The superlative support of Gene Ramey,Teddy Wilson (one of my favorite piano players;Art Tatum once said,"I wish I could play like Teddy Wilson"!!!)and Jo Jones,the most fantastic drummer of jazz,gives this recording session a kind of swing that is rarely heard.The sound of the recording is perfect,Jo Jones' brushes are,of course,the best ones ever heard,Teddy's choruses are perfect models for every jazz pianist,and Pres' choruses here rank among the most magnificent phrases ever blowed on saxophone.By the way,Pres (for President) was Lester Willis Young's nickname.Read more ›