Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester

Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester "Pres" Young

by Douglas Henry Daniels
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807071250

ISBN-13: 9780807071250

Pub. Date: 02/28/2003

Publisher: Beacon

He was jazz's first hipster. He performed in sunglasses and coined and popularized phrases like "that's cool" and "you dig?" He always wore a suit and his trademark porkpie hat. He influenced everyone from B. B. King to Stan Getz to Allen Ginsberg, creating a lyrical style of playing that forever changed the sound of the tenor saxophone.

In this groundbreaking

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Overview

He was jazz's first hipster. He performed in sunglasses and coined and popularized phrases like "that's cool" and "you dig?" He always wore a suit and his trademark porkpie hat. He influenced everyone from B. B. King to Stan Getz to Allen Ginsberg, creating a lyrical style of playing that forever changed the sound of the tenor saxophone.

In this groundbreaking biography of Lester Young (1909-1959), historian Douglas Daniels brings to life the man and his world, and corrects a number of misconceptions. Even though others have identified Young as a Kansas City musician, Daniels traces his roots to the blues of Louisiana and his early years traveling with his father's band and the legendary Oklahoma City Blue Devils. Later we see the jazz culture of New York in the early 1940s, when Young was launched to national and international fame with the Count Basie Orchestra and began to accompany his close friend Billie Holiday. After a year spent in an Army prison on a conviction for marijuana use, Young made changes in his music but never lost his sensitivity or soul.

The first ever to gain access to Young's family and many musicians who performed with him, Daniels reconstructs the world in which Young lived and played: the racism that he and other black musicians faced, the feeling of home and family that they created together on the road, and what his music meant to black audiences. Young emerges as a kind friend, a loving parent, and a gentle and sensitive man who had, in the words of Reginald Scott, "the saddest eyes I ever saw

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807071250
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
02/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
536
Sales rank:
1,416,102
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.15(h) x 1.35(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Part I Many Moons Ago

1. The President of the Tenor Saxophone

2. Shoeshine Boy: Way Down Yonder, 1909–1919

3. The Professor: The Louisiana Heritage

4. Big Top Blues: On the Road, 1919–1926

5. Jump Lester Jump: Winter Homes, 1919–1929 Part II The Spark in My Heart

6. Red Boy Blues: The Territorial Years, 1929–1932

7. Blue Devil Blues: 1932–1933

8. Big Eyes Blues: In the Court of the King, 1933

9. No Eyes Blues: More Than Just Music, 1934–1936

10. Poundcake: The Holy Main, 1936–1940

11. Watts Eyes: Paying Dues, 1941–1943

12. D.B. Blues: Tribulation and Trial, 1943–1945

Part III Up Here by Myself

13. Sax-O-Be-Bop: Life at the Top

14. Lester Blows Again: Critics’ and Sidemen’s Views

15. Movin’ with Lester: "Always Reaching . . . ”

16. Up 'n’ Adam: The Cult of the Cool

Part IV The Legacy

17. Good-bye Pork Pie Hat Personal Interviews

Notes

Selected Discography

Acknowledgments

Index

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