03. Lester Young / Blue Lester: The Immortal Lester Young (1949)
I'm often skeptical of compilations featuring old jazzmen that worked in a lot of different settings, but the selections here seem to stick with the theme and do justice to Young's versatility and talent as a soloist. There's a few nostalgic moments, like "Back Home Again in Indiana," which I always associate with Pops, but is generously endowed with swing by the Count Basie Band. There's a smattering of ballads, stomp, and swing, and hints of emerging modern jazz. The playlist ends with three big band arrangements ("Circus in Rhythm," "Poor Little Plaything," and "Tush") that shed further light on Lester's versatility as both small group soloist and essential ensemble player. My only complaint is that the album is too short.