Label: VSP - VSP-30(B) • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Reissue, Mono • Country: Canada • Genre: Jazz • Style: Swing
Lester Willis Young August 27, — March 15,nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie 's orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument.
In contrast to many of his hard-driving peers, Young played with a relaxed, cool tone and used sophisticated harmonies, using what one critic called "a free-floating style, wheeling and diving like a gull, banking with low, funky riffs that pleased dancers and listeners alike".
Known for his hip, introverted style,  he invented or popularized much of the hipster jargon which came to be associated with the music.
Lester Young was born in WoodvilleMississippi, on August 27, His father was a teacher and band leader, and several other relatives performed professionally. Piedra Cartón - Boni - Peligroso Animal De Compañía growing up in New Orleans, he worked from the age of five to make money for the family.
He sold newspapers and shined shoes. By the time he was ten, he had learned Danzon No. 2 - Gustavo Dudamel - Discoveries basics of trumpet, violin, and drums, and joined the Young Family Band touring with carnivals and playing in regional cities in the Southwest   In his teens he and his father clashed, and he often left home for long periods.
Young left the family band in at the age of 18 because he refused to tour in the Southern United Stateswhere Jim Crow laws were in effect and racial segregation was required in public facilities. He made a habit of leaving, working, then going home.
He left home permanently in when he became a member of the Blue Devils led by Walter Page. In Young settled in Kansas Citywhere after playing briefly in several bands, he rose to prominence with Count Basie. His playing in the Basie band was characterized by a relaxed style which contrasted sharply with the more forceful approach of Coleman Hawkinsthe dominant tenor sax player of the day. Young left the Basie band to replace Hawkins in Fletcher Henderson 's orchestra. Young played clarinet as well as tenor in these sessions.
Young is described as playing the clarinet in a "liquid, nervous style. Billie and Lester met at a Harlem jam session in the early 30s and worked together in the Count Basie band and in nightclubs on New York's 52nd St. At one point Lester moved into the apartment Billie shared with her mother, Sadie Fagan. Holiday always insisted their relationship was strictly platonic.
After Young's clarinet was stolen inhe abandoned the instrument until about That year Norman Granz gave him one and urged him to play it with far different results at that stage in Young's life—see below. Young left the Basie band in late He is rumored to have refused to play with the band on Friday, December 13 of that year for superstitious reasons spurring his dismissal,  although Young and drummer Jo Jones would later state that his departure had been in the works for months.
He subsequently led a number of small groups that often included his brother, drummer Lee Youngfor the next couple of years; live and broadcast recordings from this period exist. During this period Young accompanied the singer Billie Holiday in a couple of studio sessions during - period and also made a small set of recordings with Nat "King" Cole their first of several collaborations in June His studio recordings are relatively sparse during the to Stay All Night - The Greenbriar Boys - Big Apple Bluegrass, largely due to the recording ban by the American Federation of Musicians.
Small record labels not bound by union contracts continued to record and he recorded some sessions for Harry Lim's Keynote label in In December Young returned to the Basie fold for a month stint, cut short by his Lester Young - Nat Cole* - Buddy Rich - Giants 3 drafted into the army during World War II see below. Recordings made during this and subsequent periods suggest Young was beginning to make much greater use of a plastic Trop Tard - Salvatore Adamo* - Jusquà Lamour, which tended to give his playing a somewhat heavier, breathier tone although still quite smooth compared to that of many other players.
While he never abandoned the cane reed, he used the plastic reed a significant share of the time from until the end of his life. Another cause for the thickening of his tone around this time was a change in saxophone mouthpiece from a metal Lester Young - Nat Cole* - Buddy Rich - Giants 3 Link to an ebonite Brilhart. Unlike many white musicians, who were placed in band outfits such as the ones led by Glenn Miller and Artie ShawYoung was assigned to the regular army where he was not allowed to play his saxophone.
McClellanAlabama, Young was found with marijuana and alcohol among his possessions. He was soon court-martialed. Young did not fight the charges and was convicted.
He served one traumatic year in a detention barracks  and was dishonorably discharged in late His experience inspired his composition "D. Blues" with D. Young's career after World War II was far more prolific and lucrative than in the pre-war years in terms of recordings made, live performances, and annual income.
He made many studio recordings under Granz's supervision as well, Lester Young - Nat Cole* - Buddy Rich - Giants 3 more trio recordings with Nat King Cole. Young also recorded extensively in the late s for Aladdin Recordswhere he had made the Cole recordings in and for Savoy'49 and '50some sessions of which included Basie on piano.
While the quality and consistency of his playing ebbed gradually in the latter half of the s and into the early s, he also gave some brilliant performances during this stretch.
Especially noteworthy are his performances with JATP in, and From aroundYoung's level of playing declined more precipitously as his drinking increased. Young's playing and health went into a crisis, culminating in a November hospital admission following a nervous breakdown.
He emerged from Burned Kane - James A. Johnston - World Wrestling Entertainment Presents: Anthology treatment improved. Live recording of Young and Potts in Washington were issued later.
Throughout the s and 50s, Young had sat in on Count Basie Orchestra gigs from time to time. Lester married three times. His first marriage was Herbert von Karajan / Berliner Philharmoniker - Karajan Forever - The Greatest Classical Hits Beatrice Tolliver, in Albuquerqueon 23 February Lester Young - Nat Cole* - Buddy Rich - Giants 3 His third wife was Mary Berkeley.
They had two children: Lester W. Young Jr. Lester W. She was also in physical decline, near the end of her career, yet they both gave moving performances. Young's solo was brilliant, acclaimed by some observers as an unparalleled marvel of economy, phrasing and extraordinarily moving emotion; Nat Hentoffone of the show's producers, later commented, "Lester got up, and he played the purest blues I have ever heard Young made his final studio recordings and live performances in Paris in March with drummer Kenny Clarke at the tail end of an abbreviated European tour during which he ate next to nothing and drank heavily.
He died in the early morning hours of March 15,only hours after arriving back in New York, at the age of According to jazz critic Leonard Featherwho rode with Holiday in a taxi to Young's funeral, she said after the services, "I'll be the next one to go. Paul Quinichette modeled his style so closely on Young's that Lester Young - Nat Cole* - Buddy Rich - Giants 3 was sometimes referred to as the "Vice Prez" sic.
Lester Young also had a direct influence on the young Charlie Parkerand thus the entire be-bop movement. In OyamO Charles F. The work was subsequently adapted for the theater, and was staged in November of that year at the Manhattan Theater ClubNew York Citywith a four-piece jazz combo led by Dwight Andrews.
In the film Round Midnightthe fictional main character Dale Turner, played by Dexter Gordon, was partly based on Young — incorporating flashback references to his army experiences, and loosely depicting his time in Paris and his return to New York just before his death.
Young is a major character in English writer Geoff Dyer 's fictional book about jazz, But Beautiful. For many of the other participants, the photo shoot was the last time they saw him alive; he was the first musician in the famous photo to pass away. Straub was inspired by Young's appearance on the CBS-TV show The Sound of Jazzwhich he watched repeatedly, wondering how such a genius could have ended up "this present shambles, this human wreckage, hardly able to play at all".
Lester Young is said to have popularized use of the term " cool " to mean something fashionable. He would ask, "How does the bread smell? With the Count Basie Orchestra. With Jazz at the Philharmonic. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Lester Young - Nat Cole* - Buddy Rich - Giants 3 Young. He added nothing to the vocabulary, as did Lester Young, one of the great hip verbalists.
DaCapo Press, p. The History of Jazz 2 ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved January 22, The Jazz Book. New York: Bonanza Books. Retrieved August 5, Lester Young Rev. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Porter, Lewis, May 20, Retrieved December 19, Retrieved December 20, Knopfp. From Satchmo to Miles.
Da Capo Press. Erlewine, V. Bogdanov, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, pp. Infinity Plus. Retrieved June 18, DeVeaux, Scott Jazz 'Essential Listening'. Matrix Publishing Services. Gelly, Dave
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