Monday, February 12, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day
Song: Just You, Just Me
Album:Lester Young and The Oscar Peterson Trio
Lester "Prez" Young is one of the all time greats of jazz saxophone. He was born Aug. 27, 1909 in Woodville, MS, moved to New Orleans and moved to Minneapolis at age 11. By age 18 he was touring with Art Bronson's Bostonians. He played for various bands until he joined Count Basie in 1934. He left Basie to replace Coleman Hawkins in Fletcher Henderson's band but that didn't work out and he went back to Basie in 1936. That's where Young's lifetime association with Billie Holiday began. He was Billie's favourite sax player. It's said that Young wasn't the same after his time in the service but this 1952 session with Oscar Peterson for the tiny Norgan label is one of his best. It also features Barney Kessell on guitar, Ray Brown on bass & JC Heard on drums. Verve picked it up after Norgan went under and the 1997 CD reissue is essential listening. Lester Young had a serious drinking problem and died on Mar. 15, 1959 at age 49 in New York. Here's Lester Young with Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Bill Harris & Buddy Rich from 1950. It's actually part of a longer film featuring Charlie Parker but this part features Young.