John Lewis: Love Me or Leave Me

Track

Love Me or Leave Me

Artist

John Lewis (piano)

CD

Grand Encounter: 2 Degrees East 3 Degrees West (Pacific Jazz TOCJ-6115)

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Musicians:

John Lewis (piano), Bill Perkins (tenor sax), Jim Hall (guitar), Percy Heath (bass), Chico Hamilton (drums).

Composed by Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn

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Recorded: Los Angeles, February 10, 1956

Albumcoverjohnlewis-2degreeseast3degreeswest-grandencounter

Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

How would two East Coasters (the MJQ's Lewis & Heath) match up with three West Coast jazzmen? Perfectly, thanks to most of them having Lester Young in common. Tenorman Bill Perkins was a Pres disciple, Hamilton gigged with Young in 1946, and Lewis was Lesters early-1950s accompanist. No surprise they resurrect the laid-back swing exemplified by Pres's 1938 Kansas City Six. Bassist Heath even plays slightly on top of the beat la rhythm guitarist Freddie Green, and Chico gets in some passable Papa Jo Jones licks near the end. Here are modernists affectionately in touch with their roots.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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