Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young (Popular by Dave Gelly
By Dave Gelly
Publication Date: October 18, 2007
Lester younger was once one of many nice jazz masters, and his influence at the process the paintings shape used to be profound. He essentially replaced the way in which the saxophone used to be played--his lengthy, flowing traces introduced new degrees of expressiveness and subtlety to the jazz language, environment the traditional for all smooth players.
In Being Prez, well known British critic Dave Gelly follows Lester younger via his lifestyles in a speedily altering global, exhibiting how the track of this quite delicate guy was once formed by way of his reports. The reader meets a classy, weak, light person who used to be stated in his father's touring carnival band. His early profession used to be spent within the nightclubs and dancehalls of Kansas urban and the Southwest, and he made his landmark recording debut on the height of the Swing period. yet on the top of his powers, he was once drafted into the U.S. military, the place racism and his personal unworldliness landed him in army criminal. Following those occasions, younger grew more and more withdrawn and suspicious, adjustments in his personality mirrored within the darkening temper of his track. Gelly, himself a jazz saxophonist, examines a lot of Young's vintage recordings in illuminating aspect. He unearths how as a saxophonist--and as significant contributor to the count number Basie band--Young created a powerful own voice, a funky modernism, and a brand new rhythmic flexibility within the freely dancing rhythms of 4-beat swing.
With his sax jutting oddly to at least one facet, his extraordinary indirect use of language, and his specific musical rapport with Billie vacation (who famously nicknamed him "Prez"), Lester younger has turn into an icon and a cult determine. This magnificent biography illuminates the lifestyles and paintings of this immense of jazz.
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Additional resources for Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young (Popular Music History): The Life and Music of Lester Young (Popular Music History)
Hey man! I’m in bad shape. I’m broke, I ain’t got no money, ain’t got no clothes, ain’t got nothing! If you got a job for me, I’m gonna take it. ’8 And, as luck would have it, Pete Jones did have a job. He was now a member of King Oliver’s touring band, and was in town with Oliver on a scouting expedition for a new tenor saxophonist. Lester was recruited on the spot, and when Oliver and Jones took him to meet the band, he found another old friend, Leonard Phillips, ensconced 2 the territory 21 in the trumpet section.
2 the territory 33 Leaving Kirk in September, perhaps because he didn’t feel comfortable in Ben Webster’s old place, he returned to Minneapolis, where he joined Rook Ganz’s band, and later Boyd Atkins. It was steady work, but well beneath his level. It was probably frustration which drove him back to Kansas City after six months, with no job in prospect. Kansas City and its nightlife had become such a magnet for musicians and entertainers that it was overflowing with talent and he was obliged to take whatever casual engagements he could get.
And all he did was just sort of stand there looking into space like he hadn’t heard what I’d said... Then he looked at me again. ‘What did I hear you say? ’ ‘Yes,’ I said. ’... And he just stood there, nodding his head, thinking about it, and then the next thing he said was like he was talking to himself. ‘Well, okay. ’4 A few days later, John Hammond finally made the journey to Kansas City and presented himself at the Reno. Basie greeted him warmly. ’ I asked. 5 His fears were justified. The contract called for twenty-four 78 rpm sides a year, for three years, at a total fee of $750 each year.