Ken Burns Jazz

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His creed sounded so simple: "You've got to be original, man." Yet he rose in the ranks of the big bands during the age of jazz conformity. Lester Young was different. Born different. He heard differently, he spoke differently. And by the time he joined forces with Count Basie in Kansas City in 1936, he had his own language on the tenor saxophone. No matter how hot the Basie band blew, Young's fierce individualism, no less than his liquid tone, distinguished him from the ensemble as the essence of cool. He swung like mad, but he stayed cool. He went off on his own in the Forties, and over nearly twenty years his inimitable legato phrasing spawned hundreds of imitators. They spoke, in the early Fifties, of the Birth...
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11/07/2000 CD Fine

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
His creed sounded so simple: "You've got to be original, man." Yet he rose in the ranks of the big bands during the age of jazz conformity. Lester Young was different. Born different. He heard differently, he spoke differently. And by the time he joined forces with Count Basie in Kansas City in 1936, he had his own language on the tenor saxophone. No matter how hot the Basie band blew, Young's fierce individualism, no less than his liquid tone, distinguished him from the ensemble as the essence of cool. He swung like mad, but he stayed cool. He went off on his own in the Forties, and over nearly twenty years his inimitable legato phrasing spawned hundreds of imitators. They spoke, in the early Fifties, of the Birth of the Cool: He was its daddy, Daddy.
All Music Guide - Campbell
With cooperation from the Verve and Columbia Legacy catalogs, the Ken Burns Jazz series on CD individually spotlights the musical excellence of 22 jazz originators whose careers and influence are explored in Burns' PBS documentary Jazz. This disc highlights tenor saxophonist Lester Young, beginning with his membership in the Count Basie band during its historic prime from 1937 to 1939. In addition, Young's late-'30s participation in the Billie Holiday and Teddy Wilson orchestras is represented, and the CD also includes mid-'40s sides for Aladdin such as "D.B Blues" and "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid" which proved wrong many critics who insisted that Young's abilities had deteriorated after his release from the military. Although Young initially left Basie in 1940, he occasionally rejoined the band, as evidenced by "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," this disc's concluding track from 1957. While it's difficult to sum up the history of Lester Young on a single disc, the highlights presented on Ken Burns Jazz should be enough to keep the novice jazz listener interested in searching out more material.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2000
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • UPC: 731454908221
  • Catalog Number: 549082

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lester Young Primary Artist, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Buster Bailey Clarinet
Count Basie Piano
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison Trumpet
Freddie Green Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Johnny Griffin Tenor Saxophone
Jo Jones Drums
Buddy Rich Drums
Marshall Royal Alto Saxophone
Slam Stewart Bass
Buddy Tate Tenor Saxophone
Claude Thornhill Piano
Teddy Wilson Piano
Johnny Guarnieri Piano
Edmond Hall Clarinet
Benny Morton Trombone
Gene Ramey Bass
Walter Page Bass
Billie Holiday Vocals
Red Callender Bass
Big Sid Catlett Drums
Henry Coker Trombone
Nat King Cole Piano
Shad Collins Trumpet
Wendell Culley Trumpet
Eddie Durham Trombone, Electric Guitar
Herschel Evans Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Frank Foster Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Fowlkes Baritone Saxophone
Benny Golson Tenor Saxophone
Bill Graham Alto Saxophone
Sadik Hakim Piano
John Hammond Spoken Word
Bill Hughes Trombone
George Hunt Trombone
Reunald Jones Trumpet
Joe Keyes Trumpet
Al Killian Trumpet
Dodo Marmarosa Piano
Dan Minor Trombone
Benny Powell Trombone
Caughey Roberts Alto Saxophone
Earle Warren Alto Saxophone
Jack Washington Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Frank Wess Tenor Saxophone
Dicky Wells Trombone
Claude "Fiddler" Williams Guitar
Jimmy Sherman Piano
Eddie Jones Bass
Rodney Richardson Bass
Ed Lewis Trumpet
Fred Lacey Guitar
Lyndell Marshall Drums
Henry Tucker Drums
Carl "Tatti" Smith Trumpet
Technical Credits
Count Basie Composer
King Pleasure Composer
Lester Young Composer
Andy Gibson Arranger
Jimmy Mundy Arranger
Vincent Youmans Composer
Walter Page Composer
Euday L. Bowman Composer
Ken Burns Executive Producer
Irving Caesar Composer
Didier C. Deutsch Discographical Information
Eddie Durham Arranger
Fletcher Henderson Arranger
Milt Gabler Composer
Peter Keepnews Liner Notes
Kevin Reeves Mastering
Francis Davis Liner Notes
Carmen Lombardo Composer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Pat Sweeting Business Consultant
Ron Goldstein Executive Producer
Hollis King Art Direction
Ben Young Discographical Information
Richard A. Whiting Composer
Edgar Leslie Composer
Neil Moret (Chas. N. Daniels) Composer
John Jacob Loeb Composer
Carl Beaks Composer
Carlos Kase Discographical Information
John Christiana Packaging Manager
Lauren Atlas Packaging Manager
Clare Walker Packaging Manager
Joe Burke Composer
Jeff Jones Executive Producer
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