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  • Julien Fraipont

The Young Lions - The Young Lions


Hello my little 8th notes, how are you doing today? For today's album, I've decided to bring you a "not-so-well-known" album.

The Young Lions.

This album is published by Vee-Jay Records. Label record founded by Vivian Carter and James C. Bracken (pronounce, in English, the first letter of each first name... Yep, that's it, Vee and Jay, Vee-Jay). It was recorded by Sid McCoy (I'm missing Rudy 😂 ) on April 25th and released in the year 1961.

Certain claim that the name has been chosen according to Irvin Shaw's novel, The Young Lions. Personally, I don't see the direct connection between a novel on Nazism and the struggling lives of three soldiers during WWII and Afro American jazz musicians. Certainly, as they put real lions in a zoo on the cover. I would rather see this as cats in a cage. "Cats" is a nickname for jazz players and the cage would be the afro American situation at that time...

Anyway, this has nothing to do with the music made by this post-to-hard bop all-star band.

Why all-star? See this: Frank Strozier (ss), Wayne Shorter (ts), Lee Morgan (tr), Bobby Timmons (p), Bob Cranshaw (b) and Louis Hayes (#3-5, 8), Albert Heath (d). Amazing line up for an incredible album. I only have two complaints about this album: the length, it's only 35'12''. Ok, you have alternate takes which make it under the hour but still. My second complaint is that it was a one-shot only. No other session with this setting... Sad; but ok 😂🤣

On this album, it's only Shorter's original and one Morgan's. This results in a really original, beautiful soulful and powerful album (I have to find new adjectives, I know). Hard bop at its best and a definite must-have in every music collection.

Have fun listening! Go listen to.

Greetings and long live the Jazz.

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