Present day musicians, particularly British, could learn a lot from listening to this album, especially in the construction of live club performances or even new CD releases. Not that this is a "live" recording but because it is virtually 100% "standards". These days, young musicians especially seem to need to put programmes of "originals" together, and on the whole they have little merit and certainly will not stand the test of time.
Here we have four great musicians content to play "standards". There is no need for jazz musicians to keep composing new material; there is so many good tunes out there, and jazz musicians have the opportunity to add their variations every performance. What is more the tunes are familiar to the audience!
In 1956 when this was recorded Lester Young's abilities were (regrettably) fading, but here he pulls out all the stops. Perhaps his youthful vigour has passed but this has been replaced by relaxed confidence. Teddy Wilson is always a beautiful pianist to listen to, and here his performance excels. Drummer Jo Jones always provides a reliable swinging foundation, as does bassist Gene Ramey.
The original vinyl LP had just six tracks, six wonderful ballads all given the Jones / Young / Wilson / Ramey swing treatment. A study in confident, laid back, relaxing and engaging musicianship. On the CD there is a bonus, presumably spontaneous blues.
From its original release this album has always received outstanding reviews. Nothing has changed in nearly sixty years!