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Lester Young & Billie Holiday

Lester Young & Billie Holiday


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It is not certain that the jazz world has really appreciated the importance of Lester Young : the saxophonist is probably, after Louis Armstrong , of course, the most original soloist that the twentieth century has produced. In the midst of jazz in the thirties, where it was fashionable to show off one's muscles and virile manners, the truly incredible musical world of Lester , made up of a relaxation, a detachment and a lightness which brutally contrasted with current habits, had not been perceived by everyone with the same receptivity. There was one, however, who immediately made the saxophonist her champion, against and against some, it was the great singer Billie Holiday , who from 1937 to 1941 never stopped inviting her hero into the recording studios to engrave there the best that jazz has undoubtedly been able to offer in terms of musical complicity.

We will find the best of this unique collaboration in CD 1 of this album, the last two titles of which, recorded in 1957, are two moving blues which mark the reunion of the two friends after fifteen years of estrangement. As for CD 2, it irrefutably illustrates the profoundly innovative character of Lester Young , in contexts of variable geometry in which our man moves with the ease and singular swing that characterize him.

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