Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young (Popular by Dave Gelly

By Dave Gelly

E-book Description
Publication Date: October 18, 2007
Lester younger was once one of many nice jazz masters, and his effect at the process the paintings shape was once profound. He essentially replaced the best way the saxophone used to be played--his lengthy, flowing strains introduced new degrees of expressiveness and subtlety to the jazz language, surroundings the traditional for all sleek players.
In Being Prez, popular British critic Dave Gelly follows Lester younger via his lifestyles in a speedily altering international, exhibiting how the song of this tremendously delicate guy was once formed via his reviews. The reader meets a classy, susceptible, mild person who was once cited in his father's touring carnival band. His early profession was once 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 Following those occasions, younger grew more and more withdrawn and suspicious, adjustments in his personality mirrored within the darkening temper of his song. Gelly, himself a jazz saxophonist, examines lots of Young's vintage recordings in illuminating element. He finds 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 aspect, his weird and wonderful indirect use of language, and his designated musical rapport with Billie vacation (who famously nicknamed him "Prez"), Lester younger has turn into an icon and a cult determine. This fantastic biography illuminates the existence and paintings of this vast 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)

Example text

So I thought I’d go wake him up, make him play some! I went up to his room. He was lying there with corn pads on his toes, and I woke him up, and he says, ‘Oh, really! Well wait. ’ He just loved to play. And he just jumped into his clothes right quick and came downstairs and started to blowing. Man! ’ He loved the give-and-take of a jam session, where he could take turns with other players, test himself and swap musical ideas. A jam session was a mixture of social event, competitive examination and educational experience, and it was strictly for insiders.

He seems to have taken up with a white woman called Bess Cooper, by whom he had a daughter, named Beverly. No documents survive, but an interview with Beverly, then aged fifty-four, was featured in the Minneapolis Star & Tribune of 25 August 1985. In it, she says that her mother, Bess, died soon after giving birth to her and that she had been brought up by foster parents. She recalls her father with great affection, and claims that he kept in 2 the territory 19 touch with her until the end of his life, visited her whenever he could, bought her a piano, and even took her on tour with him occasionally.

Simon, reviewing a live broadcast from the Grand Terrace for Metronome magazine, was particularly trenchant: ‘If you think the sax section sounds out of tune, catch the brass! And if you think the brass by itself is out of tune, catch the intonation of the band as a whole!! ’8 By dint of much rehearsal, and with the help of a pile of arrangements generously lent by Horace Henderson, Fletcher’s brother, matters gradually improved, but some problems were endemic. Musicians who had scarcely been earning a living wage could not afford new instruments, nor could they pay for the professional maintenance of those they had.

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