The Green-Ramey-Jones factor is in effect here, as Lester blows for the first time alongside the exquisite Roy Eldridge and Vic Dickenson. Teddy Wilson provides piano, his first date with Prez in a decade, and the whole thing really swings. The chemistry is great and it's a good listen. Knowing who is on the session, I love hearing one chorus while waiting for the next guy. Lester does some fireworks (try "Gigantic Blues," also note Eldridge, Wilson and Jones) but he sounds profoundly blue throughout the others. I never bought the description of Prez as lean or
altoesque, or however that's said. He's got a big, sonorous tone
that portrays (and occasionally betrays) every nuance of the piece. These are mostly ballads so it suits this album especially well. In the arrangements, Lester usually goes first followed by Dickenson or Eldridge. When they get to the end, the whole band takes it out. It reminds me of a big band arrangement, and harnesses the septet's additional weight to good effect.