‘Lester Young has had one of the strongest effects on other tenor saxophone players – both in technique and in sound, his sound being dry and sophisticated. But always as you can hear swinging’ – From the back cover of the album
Are you ready to Swing? Because swing is what Lester Young is all about. Even after the experience of being drafted into the army and the subsequent harsh treatment he received nothing could take that away from Pres, at least not when these sides were recorded. “Almost Like Being In Love” is the perfect record to play anyone who wants to hear Lester Young’s lightness of touch. Let’s not forget Oscar Peterson either, who swings for Canada on this brilliant record. If you’ve not heard it before then prepare yourself for a classic. This is small group jazz of the highest order and if the swing of the opener, ‘Ad Lib Blues’ doesn’t get you then track two is just so beautiful that you may well stick it on repeat – ‘I Can’t Get Started’ is pure perfection.
“These Foolish Things” is a song that Lester Young made his own when he recorded back in 1945 for Aladdin Records and this is another standout track. It should, of course, been called The Oscar Peterson Quartet as besides OP it features Barney Kessel on guitar, playing beautifully, Ray Brown on bass and J.C Heard on tracks one through five.
Originally issued in August 1952 in New York City for a series of Norgran 10″ albums, Verve reissued it as a LP in 1957 making it a 12 track record, subsequent CD reissues added a couple of bonus cuts. Sixty plus years has not dimmed its lustre…