Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lester Young's Birthday

Lost Treasures from Jazz's Golden Age Head to Harlem Museum
[Lester Young - "Prez" - (1909-1959)]

August 27 - It's Lester Young's birthday today 

Henry Ferrini's upcoming  film biography is our focus. More on that essential documentary here.

Drummer Tootie Heath recalls Lester's lingo, Wayne Shorter recalls apprenticeship with Prez, George Wein recalls sitting-in, Monica Getz recalls travelling on the bus, David Amram, in 2009, speaking of the exuberance of Lester Young

As Ralph J Gleason memorably put it, "If you don't know who Pres was, you've missed a great part of America".

Here's the original "Lester Leaps In" with Count Basie from 1939 


Allen, in 1968, to interviewer Michael Aldrich:  "Lester Young was what I was thinking about.."Howl" is all "Lester Leaps In"

Douglas Henry Daniels: Lester Leaps In, The life and times of Lester 'Pres' Young, Boston 2002

Here's more (an NPR report) from the 2009 centennial 

Francois Postif's legendary 1959 interview may be seen here
but, more importantly, must be heard here.

Frank Büchmann-Møller: You just fight for your life, The story of Lester Young, New York 1990

August 27-29, WKCR's annual Lester Young and Charlie Parker birthday broadcasts

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