Lester Leaps In – 1938
Count Basie’s Kansas City Seven
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Produced in New York City, September 5,1939
Lester Young was 29 years old when this session was recorded.
Count Basie Kansas City Seven
Lester Young’s – Tenor Sax
Buck Clayton – Trumpet
Dicky Wells – Trombone
Count Basie – Piano
Freddie Green – Guitar
Walter Page – Bass
Jo Jones -Drums
Young was born in Mississippi and spent early, formative years in Algiers, Louisiana.
This simple fact is often glossed over. Algiers is across the Mississippi from New Orleans and easily reached by ferry boat. Although New Orleans is not given any credit for helping form Young, there’s simply no way he could have lived there without absorbing the incredibly rich musical culture there.
When he was 24, Young moved to Kansas City and after trying out a lot of different bands became a key player with Count Basie. At the time, the tenor was dominated by Coleman Hawkins.
This particular session was recorded in 1938 in New York City after Young returned to the Basie band after playing with several other groups.