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Discussion Starter #1
Four of the best clips from Lester recorded in the 1940's. :)

He still plays with a very strong sound here (like in the 30's), not with the weaker tone from many of his later recordings. I have an old LP from many moons ago with these four numbers and all alternative takes, but could only find back the 'master takes' on the Tube.

Lester Young Quartet

- Lester Young (ts)
- Johnny Guarnieri (p)
- Slam Stewart (b)
- Sidney Catlett (d)

Recorded in New York, December 28, 1943.

- I Never Knew:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6qFFk0qyEc

- Afternoon of a Basie-ite:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6TxGnS9sCs

Just You, Just Me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gD6de_DoxA

- Sometimes I'm Happy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep3U_POYMyQ

Enjoy! :)
 

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Thank you!!! Can't get enough Prez-O-Reeny! Especially the vintage stuff. The army messed him up, but even still, the later mellow sounds are priceless, too!
 

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Forever underrated - THE President - so far ahead of the pack, he was swinging behind the beat. And always telling a story. BELLS!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you!!! Can't get enough Prez-O-Reeny! Especially the vintage stuff. The army messed him up, but even still, the later mellow sounds are priceless, too!
I also like the older stuff with the steaming rhythm sections. Slam and Big Sid really pushed Lester here in his younger age style of the 30's. But, as you said, the later Prez is also priceless.

Forever underrated - THE President - so far ahead of the pack, he was swinging behind the beat. And always telling a story. BELLS!
Not sure if he was under-rated, but I agree for sure with the rest. :)
 

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Thanks for posting.

My Lester Young collection gets a workout regularly.
 

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Great post Peter. The version of Just You, Just Me that you posted was the first Pres solo i learned many years ago. i can't remember where i live sometimes but i can still play those first two choruses by the president.
 

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Prez was a magician. Or perhaps a space alien. Something so totally other-worldly about him AND his playing. Prez is just one giant X factor.

I was lucky to have gotten to know Slam a bit in the weeks prior to his passing. I didn't REALLY understand what sort of giant figure he was. He showed a LOT of kindness to a young white college kid living in his town who was into jazz. He had quite a collection of vintage basses in his house too.
 

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Slam Stewart also made those incredible recordings in the Art Tatum trio. As for Prez here, it’s so nice to hear his sound recorded in such a clear detailed space that’s just right; not too forward in the mix and not muffled either. Absolutely beautiful!
 

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Prez was a magician. Or perhaps a space alien. Something so totally other-worldly about him AND his playing. Prez is just one giant X factor.

I was lucky to have gotten to know Slam a bit in the weeks prior to his passing. I didn't REALLY understand what sort of giant figure he was. He showed a LOT of kindness to a young white college kid living in his town who was into jazz. He had quite a collection of vintage basses in his house too.
That's a great story about Slam. :) For me he is one of the master bass players of the late Swing period, what a sound and drive.

Slam Stewart also made those incredible recordings in the Art Tatum trio. As for Prez here, it’s so nice to hear his sound recorded in such a clear detailed space that’s just right; not too forward in the mix and not muffled either. Absolutely beautiful!
Slam also did some great recordings with Don Byas (the famous I Got Rhythm duo recording) and with Diz and Parker (in 1945 if I remember well).

I wish he did not do that singing, humming along business.
He is indeed doing that a lot and maybe a bit too much, but I love it. Paul Chambers kind of copied that from him.
 

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If Slam's amazing original playing-singing bothers you Maybe you should switch to rap or hiphop or heavy metal.
Slam was an incredible genius bassist with perfect pitch. His playing was magnificent and his solos were perfect gems in every way. He pioneered that style, subsequently copied by many bassists and guitarists. George Benson in particular.

I wish he did not do that singing, humming along business.
 

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Agreed, and dare I say he was the best bow playing bassist in jazz; better than Pettiford, Mingus, Carter, etc.

If Slam's amazing original playing-singing bothers you Maybe you should switch to rap or hiphop or heavy metal.
Slam was an incredible genius bassist with perfect pitch. His playing was magnificent and his solos were perfect gems in every way. He pioneered that style, subsequently copied by many bassists and guitarists. George Benson in particular.
 

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If Slam's amazing original playing-singing bothers you Maybe you should switch to rap or hiphop or heavy metal.
Slam was an incredible genius bassist with perfect pitch. His playing was magnificent and his solos were perfect gems in every way. He pioneered that style, subsequently copied by many bassists and guitarists. George Benson in particular.

Loving jazz and yet not liking some aspect of some player's performance are not mutually exclusive.

I do not doubt Stewart's genius.

You need to chill, brother.
 

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I wish he did not do that singing, humming along business.
That was his "thing". I don't care for it either but can't really do anything about it except not listen. Listen to Oscar Peterson play a solo, any solo. He makes this background noise like he is singing along but it doesn't go along with the notes. THAT is annoying. Once you hear it on every song, you can't unhear it. Fabulous playing though, like he had 4 hands.
 

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That was his "thing". I don't care for it either but can't really do anything about it except not listen. Listen to Oscar Peterson play a solo, any solo. He makes this background noise like he is singing along but it doesn't go along with the notes. THAT is annoying. Once you hear it on every song, you can't unhear it. Fabulous playing though, like he had 4 hands.
Lots of folks do it, and after a while most of it from most of them gets annoying.

As you say, that humming thing was Slam's, and he did it on his solos a whole lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSudlBFrmzI
 

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So Slam Stewart, singing together with his bass playing with a magical, absolute preternatural, superhuman level perfection of matching pitch in unison with his base, bothers you huh?

That in no way however remotely it compares to Oscar Peterson's horrifical out of tune grunting and squealing. The two are apples and oranges.

That was his "thing". I don't care for it either but can't really do anything about it except not listen. Listen to Oscar Peterson play a solo, any solo. He makes this background noise like he is singing along but it doesn't go along with the notes. THAT is annoying. Once you hear it on every song, you can't unhear it. Fabulous playing though, like he had 4 hands.
 

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So Slam Stewart, singing together with his bass playing with a magical, absolute preternatural, superhuman level perfection of matching pitch in unison with his base, bothers you huh?

That in no way however remotely it compares to Oscar Peterson's horrifical out of tune grunting and squealing. The two are apples and oranges.
 

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Slam Stewart was the second bassist i transcribed back in the day. Much of what you hear of recorded Slam was played on a cheapo plywood bass and cheapo Kay bow.
 
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