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The Jazz Giants

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 24, 1990
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$16.32 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Jazz Giants
  • +
  • Pres And Teddy (w/Teddy Wilson) (+1 bonus trk) (1956)
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  • Lester Young with Oscar Peterson Trio
Total price: $41.30
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  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
9:35
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2
30
10:05
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3
30
6:54
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4
30
6:49
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5
30
9:06
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve Records
  • ASIN: B0000046XA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,911 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JEAN-MARIE JUIF on August 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Lester Young.What more can I say ? He was the most incredible jazz player of all times. The king of tenor saxophone.He recorded this session in 1956,three years before his death,with some outstanding companions : Teddy Wilson,Vic Dickenson,Roy Eldridge,Freddie Greene,Gene Ramey and Jo Jones.What a hall of fame!!Just listen to the magnificent version of "I'll guess I'll have to change my plan",a tune rarely recorded.This is some of the greatest Lester, a real masterpiece; for Lester's playing,but also for Teddy Wilson,Jo Jones,and for an amazing Roy Eldridge.I guess you'll play this tune for hours.Roy 's solo on this tune ranks among the greatest things ever done on a trumpet.The four other tunes are very great moments of music too: Lester's improvisations on "I didn't know what time it was" or "this year's kisses",a tune he recorded with Billie Holiday some 20 years before.The Jazz Giants is a good title: noone will ever play that way.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are not many cuts on this CD, but this is worth it. It is a rare occaision, a group of contest winners, who happen to jibe together as a real functing band who work well together because their past experience of working together and current styles mesh. They create some great music like a band that had practiced together for years.
About 20 years ago a friend of mine found the LP version of this in a thrift store in Los Angeles. When I visited and he played the opening selection I think I'm going to Change My plans, it was one of the most beautiful tasteful and wonderful things I have ever heard. I still go by that. There is something magnificent about that cut that makes me wonder why I don't just play it all day every day, something I did do, once I got a CD player about 12 years ago and got this CD. It is that good.
What works here is that Lester is recorded with a set of SWING musicians who have the same approach to time and variation that he had, although Lester is obviously the master here. In fact, this recording was always one that people like Buck Clayton and other Old Testament Basie survivors pointed to as proof that none of Lester's skills had declined in the 1950s, he just needed a rhythm section like the one here composed of Teddy Wilson (with whom he recorded scores of records for Billie Holiday in the 30s, and his former Basie band mates Freddie Greene and Jo Jones and Gene Ramey who is of the same generation of Southwestern Swing as Lester and Basie.
Vic Dickenson really shines here. Smooth and cremey hot and swinging. It is unfortunate that very few people these days understand the greatness of Little Jazz, Mr. Roy Eldrige whose trumpet provides the necessary contrast to Lester's great sax playing. By 1956 Roy had been appearing with Lester and sometimes with Dickenson for years in Jazz at the Philharmonic's great jams. Listening to these cuts will help you want to hear more of him.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best later-Pres albums out there. People who say that the Pres of the 50's was just a shell of the Pres of the 30's and early 40's with Basie are proven wrong by this recording and many others. Pres has rarely sounded better and the fire that he plays with on "Gigantic Blues" and the soul that he puts into songs like "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" is simply awesome.

This is Pres at his best. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This is simply the best jazz album ever made..

If you dig the style of Lester in the best shape since 1943 and add the unsurpassed efforts by Vic Dicenson, Roy Eldridge, Teddy Wilson and Jo Jones. Besides Lester the group plays the best they ever did. Wilson has never svung as hard, Roy has never been so precise and hard svung "in control" as here. You will never hear harder swing as in Gigantic Blues or as beautifull and hartbreaking as I didn't know what time is was.

If I only had one album this would be it..
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What a gigantic group!

Still very much in their prime, many of these jazz giants are old musical and personal friends. For instance, Jo Jones (dm) and Freddie Greene (g) were a vital part of Basie's rhythm machine in the hay-day of Young's tenure with the orchestra; Eldridge (tp) and Young both participated in beautiful Teddy Wilson-Billie Holiday recordings, Young made a perfect quartet album with Wilson (p), Ramey (b) and Jones (Pres and Teddy); Jones and Young (at one number joined by Eldridge) were guests on Count Basie rightly famous "At Newport" reunion album (Count Basie at Newport, Roy played with Young on numerous other occasions as well (including JATP encounters and Young's swan song "Laughin' to keep from cryin'" ( Laughin' to Keep from Cryin') ...

Lester Young had some of his peaks in the 50s (check out also his work with Oscar Peterson from the period - With the Oscar Peterson Trio, particularly when surrounded by the likeminded jazz giants of the previous era and Vic Dickenson is another reason to get this gem: he plays really beautifully throughout this fantastic album... If you're into hot and gentle mainstream, into swing, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Vic Dickenson...YOU MUST HAVE THIS!

Why did I wait so long to buy it, I keep asking myself in disbelief. Lyrical and ballad-oriented component of this album prevails and, since these artists have beautiful sound, this will make this album quite accessible to audiences who otherwise don't necessarily concentrate on jazz (for instance to the Diana Krall and Norah Jones crowd).
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