Lester Young: There Will Never Be Another You

You can tell how much Lester Young liked the melody of this piece. Not only does he play it with great feeling on this 1952 date with Oscar Peterson, but even Young's solo finds him returning again and again to Harry Warren's theme. Yet even slow ballads, at this stage in the saxophonist's career, were never smooth, uneventful outings, and we hear the gruff and rough edge characteristic of late-period Prez. You don't get much from Oscar Peterson on this track. The pianist typically showed restraint when working with Young, and his contribution here is limited to a short stride-oriented intro. The track lasts only 3½ minutes and will leave you wanting more. Certainly this abbreviated performance shows you that Young was still delivering heartfelt solos in the 1950s, although fans first coming to this artist for the first time are advised to start their journey with the early Count Basie and Billie Holiday collaborations.

September 13, 2008 · 0 comments


Oscar Pettiford & Max Roach (from Freedom Suite): There Will Never Be Another You

Sonny Rollins showed up late for the Freedom Suite session, and the result is this curio: a duet between bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Max Roach on "There Will Never Be Another You." The project was already following a less-is-more philosophy by roughing it without chords, but this track is about as sparse as 1950s jazz ever gets. Yet what a joy to hear these two masters in such a relaxed and creative mood! Pettiford and Roach probably assumed that this performance would never get released, and this no doubt accounts for the loose and uninhibited atmosphere of the proceedings. Of course, this song didn't show up on the original LP. Ah, the unquenchable demand for "bonus tracks" for CD reissues now reunites this track with the rest of Freedom Suite. Pettiford, who passed away in 1960, did not survive into the era of "anything goes" mega-solos; so this is one of the best places on record to hear him stretching out at length.

July 02, 2008 · 0 comments


Chet Baker: There Will Never Be Another You

With jazz performers, we crave the person behind the persona. Usually what you see is what you get. Sometimes, though, it's Jekyll-&-Hyde. The seemingly mild-mannered bandleader turns out to be a tyrant. The happy-go-lucky singer throws herself off a bridge. Such was The Strange Case of Dr. Chet and Mr. Baker. In 1954, he looked like the choirboy who mows your lawn and calls you Sir/Ma'am. Behind the angelic façade, however, lurked a vagabond junkie-in-waiting. This track (no pun intended) gives us the captivating, cup-muted choirboy on his best behavior. Hopefully, there will never be another Chet. Thankfully, there was one.

December 05, 2007 · 0 comments


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