I wish I was there (well...if only I was born half a century earlier).
Although all contributors are excellent, Lester Young (the one and only President) on tenor sax and Roy Eldridge on trumpet steal the honours on heated jams of "How high the moon", "Undecided" and "Dre's Blues", but on the ballad medley Flip Phillips scores an unexpected point with his passionate tenor sax interpretation of "Deep Purple".
Of course, this is not to say that Eldridge's stint on Carmichael's good old "Rockin' chair" is a throwaway... It is anything but, and the same goes for Young's brilliant analysis of "I cover the waterfront" or Hank Jones' subtle take on "This is Always" .
Recording technology was not optimally used considering the era, but the musicians still come across very strong, although the rhythm section could have been a bit more clearly recorded (incidentally, Norman Granz announces Irving Ashby on guitar, but his name is omitted from the data on the CD's sleeve).
In the end, after an amazing drummin' romp by Max Roach, Little Jazz joins in with some of the most sensitive type of hot trumpet playing, leading to the jubilant and spectacular ensemble conclusion of "Dre's Blues", a marathon jam jointly devised by the musicians of this group....
The pleasure of listening The Pres once again makes me think - his approach to tunes, compared to Charlie Parker's is like Robert Bresson's approach to film narration compared to that of Jean-Luc Godard... Young's honks and repetitive notes, for instance on "Undecided" break every rule and still swing madly...