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4.1 out of 5 stars
The Complete Recordings: 1956-1959
Format: MP3 Download|Change

on 24 May 2014
This may or may not be all the vinyl that happened to be issued in those years, but that would just prove is what a rag-tag jumble of selections from many different sessions that was. I found it hard to piece together what I'd got once I'd got it, even with the wonders of the data that's out there on the internet. I think the end result is that what we have here is:
* Jazz Giants '56 (Complete Original 1956 Album - as pictured)
* Pres and Sweets (Complete Original 1955 Album - as pictured)
* Laughing to Keep From Crying (Complete Original 1958 Album - as pictured)

And then a selection from a number of sessions for Aladdin, Clef, Norgran etc. recorded from around 1945 to 1955. Plus one wild card of a live recording of Destination Moon from 1950(???)

That having been said, the sound quality is fine as far as these ears can discern, so what you have is an enormous amount of truly wonderful timeless music at a stupidly low price (don't believe anything you might read about Pres not being able to play towards the end - he could still tell a beautiful story through his unique Sax like no one else before or since, and what a story it was by then!).

So, if you're new to Pres and fancy immersing yourself in the glory of the man as featured in a small group setting, this is a pretty jolly good bet actually. If you've got a fair bit already you'll probably need to do some careful checking to see how much of this you have or haven't got already.
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on 24 July 2016
I have to agree completely with the other reviewer 'spole'
This is such a misleading album title. "Complete Recordings 1956-1959" suggested to me that these would be actual recordings made between these two dates. Not earlier recordings issued between these two dates. Or earlier recordings issued at earlier dates. And if you're going to call it complete, then let's have some justification - where were they made, when, who with etc.
This is far from complete. By my research, some of these tracks originate from as far back as the mid-to-late 40's. You can forget about the 9 album covers illustrated here: if you can track down any more than about 4 or 5 I'd really welcome the input. And there are sporadic tracks (2 or 3 at a time) from other albums that don't feature here at all.

Sorry. What was that? The music? How does the music sound? Well it's Lester Young and I'd never dis Pres. It's excellent, of course. But the whole thing's just such a mish-mash. It's like ordering a three course meal and you get some of your ice-cream from the dessert served in your soup, and the mashed potato is served with chocolate sauce for the dessert. Individually they're OK, organised properly, as the menu promised, they'd be excellent.
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2014
LESTER was the musician like Armstrong, Parker and Davis - the jazz cornerstones of later years after swing faded. LESTER had the sound that was emulated by Getz Sims,Kamuca and the host of others. This is jazz at it's very best.
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on 28 May 2016
Great sound
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