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 artwork shape was once profound. He essentially replaced the way in which the saxophone was once played--his lengthy, flowing strains introduced new degrees of expressiveness and subtlety to the jazz language, atmosphere the normal for all glossy players.
In Being Prez, well known British critic Dave Gelly follows Lester younger via his existence in a speedily altering international, exhibiting how the track of this incredibly delicate guy used to be formed through his reviews. The reader meets a classy, weak, mild person who was once pointed out in his father's touring carnival band. His early occupation 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 used to be drafted into the united states military, the place racism and his personal unworldliness landed him in army felony. Following those occasions, younger grew more and more withdrawn and suspicious, adjustments in his personality mirrored within the darkening temper of his track.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 1 aspect, his extraordinary indirect use of language, and his distinctive 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 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)
Her mother, Sadie, combined domestic service with a little prostitution on the side, leaving the child alone for long periods. At the age of eleven she was sexually abused by a neighbour. The rapist was caught and sentenced and Billie was sent to a Roman Catholic children’s home, the only stable home life she ever experienced. Her first job was as a domestic servant in a brothel, where she first heard the music of Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and other jazz pioneers on the Victrola. At fourteen, Billie moved with her mother to New York, where mother and daughter began working as five-dollar whores along Lenox Avenue.
On that first night, Billie sang and Lester played. ‘From then on Lester knew how I used to love to have him come around and blow pretty solos behind me. ’28 Together, they smoked prodigious quantities of cannabis and drank a fearsome concoction of their own devising, which they called ‘top and bottom’ – one half gin and one half port. He called her ‘Lady Day’ and she called him ‘Prez’. ‘The greatest man around then was Franklin D. Roosevelt and he was the President. So I started calling him “President”.
7 Fortunately, because of his apprenticeship in travelling outfits like 40 being prez the Gonzelle White Show, ‘playing something’ on piano for show-dancers came as second nature to Bill Basie. And so they managed to struggle through, but it was a gruesome few weeks. Given all the advance publicity, it was inevitable that the press would take an interest in the band’s Chicago debut, and most of the critics seem to have taken the same view as the Grand Terrace management. ’ George T. 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!
Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young (Popular Music History): The Life and Music of Lester Young (Popular Music History) by Dave Gelly