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Jazz in Paris - Le Dernier Message De Lester Young

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 April 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Gitanes Emarcy
  • ASIN: B00005UCHP
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,485 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

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Format: Audio CD
This lovely and romantic CD is far from Lester Young's best post-war recordings (such as the great reunion with Basie's Band or the recordings with Teddy Wilson). But, in spite of obvious shortness of breath and the physical effort put in some solos, this is still very good music by any standards: diminished Prez is still better than most players.

Supporting combo is fine and it includes great drummer Kenny Clarke and the pianist Rene Urtreger (who also colaborated magnificently with Miles Davis and Chet Baker). All mainstream jazz fans or Prez fans are invited to buy this French CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Le Jazz in Paris: Le Dernier Message de Lester Young
I wouldn't advise any potential listener who wants an example of the once brilliant Lester Young's music to start with this album, as it is clearly the work of a dying man on his last legs. The energy and rhythmic suppleness of his days with Basie, the lyricism of his Aladdin recordings, the understated subtlety of the records with John Lewis are all absent here, and the saxophone playing sounds weary, apathetic, as if he'd rather not be there at all. Any of the other recordings mentioned above are to be recommended as 5 star rather than this 'last message' which is not the best way to remember such a great musician.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lester Young's Hauntingly Beautiful Last Studio Recordings: March, 1959 18 Mar. 2012
By karlojazz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Issued here on the French label, Gitanes Jazz Productions,this excellent CD was recorded in Paris on March 4, 1959 and is a reissue/repackaging of Verve's Jazz in Paris series. Le dernier Message de Lester Young presents a total of 12 tracks, mostly well-known standards that had been part of Young's repertoire for years, plus one tune written by Young (New D.B. Blues).

The rhythm section making up this quintet is truly exemplary: Rene Urtreger on piano, Jimmy Gourley on guitar, Jamil Nasser on bass, and the American drummer living in Paris, Kenny Clarke.

Clarke ensures that the tempo never becomes plodding or too laid-back and injects some nice changes in the rhythmical dynamics, especially in the two more up-tempo tunes, Indiana and Tea For Two. Urtreger provides constant sensitive and restrained comping behind Young and on I Didn't Know What Time It Was gives Young a short but enticing introduction. Jimmy Gourley's guitar adds both tonal and rhythmic richness and unexpected moments of brilliance in his solo on Almost Like Being In Love and what amounts to a duet between piano and guitar on Oh Lady, Be Good!.

And as for this "last message from Lester Young," we are captivated by the Prez's economical phrasing, for he eschews a note-for-note fidelity to the written score and instead hints at the melody through suggestive paraphrases, periods of silence, and unexpected chord changes. This Rollins-like treatment of these rather shop-worn songs breathes new life into them and seems to encourage his sidemen to weave similar elliptical passages as they play behind him or solo. A good example of this way of playing is Lullaby Of Birdland, not one of my favorite tunes, but here given a memorable fresh treatment.

The 12 tracks included in this CD are the following:

1. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
2. Oh Lady, Be Good!
3. Almost Like Being in Love
4. Three Little Words
5. I Cover The Water Front
6. I Can't Get Started
7. (Back Home Again In) Indiana
8. Pennies From Heaven
9. New D.B. Blues
10.Lullaby of Birdland
11.There Will Never Be Another You
12 Tea For Two

Although this Paris album has been criticized by some for showing Lester "in decline," I would argue that it is among his very best work and far superior to the much-praised live performances in Washington, D.C. in 1956.

Two quotations taken from Alain Tercinet's liner notes seem to me to be worth repeating:

"More than ever on the razor's edge, the art of the Prez was reduced to the essential."

Pianist Rene Urtreger: "Some said that Lester wasn't the man he had been. It's true, but the genius is still there; the spark is there. It's not as young, and it has less muscle, but it's still Lester Young."

Highly recommended for all fans of Lester Young. This is an album that can bear repeated listenings due in large measure to the sensitive, creative, and generally restrained accompaniment of the entire rhythm section, in addition to the many hauntingly beautiful short solos by the Prez, who would die on March 15th soon after returning to New York from Paris.
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