Lester Leaps In – 1960
A hot version by the James big band
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Ed Sullivan always enjoyed the swing and, during the 1950s and early ‘60s, he often gave the remaining big bands an opportunity to play a song or two on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The Feb. 14, 1960, telecast featured Harry James and his big band on an uptempo version of “Lester Leaps In.”
Harry James takes a fine trumpet solo, the two tenor-saxophonists (Sam Firmature and Jay Corre) harmonize Lester Young’s recorded solo and have a brief tradeoff, the band (driven by drummer Tony DeNicola) romps a la Count Basie, and James blasts his way through a second solo, climaxing the stirring performance.