November 15, 2015

Lester Young - With The Oscar Peterson Trio (1954)

Lester Young is who most people consider runner up to Charlie Parker for the title of most influential bop saxophonist of all time. Young was an integral part of the Count Basie Orchestra, but went on to prove how effective he could be with small group bebop in the 50s as well. This oldschool band doesn't fear infiltrating the new style laid out by up-and-coming stars like Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell, but also doesn't let their swing background too far out of sight. Oscar Peterson fuels up Young big time with his unwavering, funky stride, and plays a little more out than the other things I've heard from him--actually sounding like a major influence to Horace Silver on the quicker tracks. The recording is fantastic for an early 50s album and strikes a great balance of comfy fuzz and advanced 50s fidelity. I recommend this early bop bible to anyone wanting a charming and varied display of the genre. These sessions were captured in 1952, released as a pair of 10 inches in 1954, again as a 12 inch in 1956, and then this complete collection of all of the tracks and alternate takes in the 2000s, which is what I have uploaded. Enjoy!


Lester Young With The Oscar Peterson Trio