A swing jazz septet formed by saxophonist Tom Callens, Lester's Blues pay hommage to and play the energetic effortless swinging style and music of 1930's small groups of Count Basie, Lester Young and their peers.
Lester's Blues lend their name from one of the most bittersweet songs by saxophonist Lester Young, arguably the greatest jazz stylist that walked this earth. Inspired by 1930's small band recordings of Count Basie and his alumni, Lester's Blues want to approach their music, style, vibe and effortless swing that changed the face of jazz with a fresh and vigorous touch.
The septet is modelled after some of the bands the Count had: a four-piece rhythm section with piano and rhythm guitar, and three horns, composed of leading Belgian and Dutch seasoned jazz and swing players, each having earned their stripes through many years of gigging and practice. They will surely cater for a stomping party!
The group started their existence in 2016, eighty years after Lester Young had his world-shattering first recording session at the age of 27. Having played at many jazz and lindy hop dance festivals since, Lester's Blues recorded their first album 'Red Label: Hommage to Lester Young & the Basie-Ites' in March of 2018. It will be issued on CD as well as vinyl. It was entirely recorded live in one room, without the use of computers, mixed live to two-track analogue tapes. The vinyl was mastered and cut in a fully analogue signal path, the process that was used before the coming of digital audio, fitting in wonderfully with the concept of playing yesteryears popular music, making it one of the very few completely analog releases of today.
tenor saxophone, leader
clarinet, tenor saxophone
rhythm guitar, solo guitar
In march of 2018 we got together in the studio to record fourteen tracks for our debut album. It is available in CD and digital download, and as a pre-order on 100% analog vinyl, limited to 500 copies.
You can order directly with us through our bandcamp page -
The compositions were chosen for their historical significance, or just because they have a great melody, or because the original recording swung so hard. The repertoire comes from the great body of recordings that Lester Young, Count Basie and company left us.
The album was recorded live in one-takes (no edits), in one room with the band centered around two main microphones, and mixed straight to analog 1/4" tape on a two-track MCI JH-110 machine. No external effects other than compression were used during tracking. The tapes were edited the old-school way - cutting and splicing - to prepare for mastering. The CD was mastered in Brussels with top analog gear and A/D conversion. The tapes were flown to Dublin for separate mastering and cutting of the lacquers for vinyl, which was done in a fully analog signal path.
buy the album here (Digital/CD/Vinyl pre-order):
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