They Can’t Take That Away From Me
This seems an appropriate piece of music for these days. It’s an unusual but deeply moving performance by the legendary Lester Young who was best known as a tenor saxophonist, but decided to play clarinet on two numbers that wound up on an album called Laughin’ to Keep from Cryin’. I have the original vinyl LP, which was issued on the Verve label, but it’s still waiting for me to transfer it to digital. The other members of the band are Roy Eldridge and Harry Edison (trumpets), Herb Ellis (guitar), Hank Jones (piano), George Duvivier (bass) and Mickey Sheen (drums).There were lots of problems making the record, apparently, but it did produce some fine music including this devastatingly tragic version of the standard They Can’t Take That Away From Me which is among the very best recordings he ever made.
At the time of this recording, in February 1958, Lester Young was terminally ill with cancer – he died just a year later at the age of 49. Despite being barely able to stand, struggling with his breath control, and playing almost in slow motion, he manages to cast his fading light over this tune in a way that’s heartbreaking as well as beautiful.
This entry was posted on November 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm and is filed under Jazz with tags George Duvivier, Hank Jones, Harry Edison, Herb Ellis, Laughin' to Keep from Cryin', Lester Young, Mickey Sheen, Roy Eldridge. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.