Count Basie (featuring Lester Young): Oh, Lady Be Good


Oh, Lady Be Good


Jones-Smith Incorporated (Count Basie)


The Essential Count Basie, Vol. 1 (Sony Jazz 4600612)

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Count Basie (piano), Lester Young (tenor sax), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums),

Carl Smith (trumpet)


Composed by George & Ira Gershwin


Recorded: Chicago, November 9, 1936


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Swing Era rhythm sections specialized in a monotonous thumping not unlike men with flyswatters beating determinedly on stacks of old newspapers. In this case, however, fortune intervened. First, the studio was too small to accommodate a bass drum. Second, no rhythm guitarist was present. These absences make the jazz lover's heart grow fonder, allowing for an uncommon buoyancy ideally suited to Lester Young's lighter-than-air excursions. Thus, after Basie tinkles his way through the melody, Pres glides atop the Gershwin tune for two glorious, untethered choruses, as effortlessly graceful as an eagle out for a Sunday cruise. Oh, Lester be good!

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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