Lester Young

Knowledge Identifier: +Lester_Young

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Lester Young

American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetistadd

Category: Music (655)

Born in 1909.

Countries: United States (77%), (5%), New York (4%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Billie Holiday

Linked to: CBS, Decca Records

 

Timeline


 

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Lester Young was born in 1909 add something


1927

He left the family band in 1927 at the age of 18 because he refused to tour in the Southern United States, where Jim Crow laws were in effect and racial segregation was required in public facilities. add something


1930

Jazz - Kansas City Jazz in the 1930s as exemplified by tenor saxophonist Lester Young marked the transition from big bands to the bebop influence of the 1940s


1933

In 1933 Young settled in Kansas City, where after playing briefly in several bands, he rose to prominence with Count Basie. add something


1934

Billie Holiday - Another frequent accompanist was the tenor saxophonist Lester Young, who had been a boarder at her mother's house in 1934 and with whom Holiday had a special rapport.

 

Chu Berry - During the period 1934-1939, while saxophone pioneer Coleman Hawkins was playing in Europe, Chu Berry was one of several younger tenor saxophonists, such as Budd Johnson, Ben Webster and Lester Young who vied for supremacy on their instrument


1937

Buck Clayton - From 1937, the Count Basie orchestra was based in New York, giving Clayton the opportunity to freelance in the recordings studios, and he participated in recordings sessions featuring Billie Holiday and was present on Commodore sessions with Lester Young


1938

Although they were recorded in New_York, they are named after the group, the Kansas City Seven, and comprised Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells, Basie, Young, Freddie Green, Rodney Richardson, and Jo Jones. add something


1939

After Young's clarinet was stolen in 1939, he abandoned the instrument until about 1957. add something


1940

During this period Young accompanied the singer Billie Holiday in a couple of studio sessions in 1940 and 1941 and made a small set of recordings with Nat "King" Cole in June 1942. add something

 

Throughout the 1940s and 50s, Young had sat in on Count Basie Orchestra gigs from time to time. add something

 

Young left the Basie band in late 1940. add something

 

Young recorded extensively in the late 1940s for Aladdin Records and for Savoy (1944, '49 and '50), some sessions of which included Basie on piano. add something

 

Charlie Christian - Appearances on recordings by Ida Cox, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Fred Astaire, Eddy Howard, Edmond Hall, Metronome All Stars 1940-1941, Kansas City Six with Buck Clayton and Lester Young, Helen_Forrest.

 

Red Callender - In the early 1940s, he played in the Lester and Lee Young band, and formed his own trio


1942

Jimmy Rowles - After moving to Los Angeles, he joined Lester Young's group in 1942


1943

In December 1943 Young returned to the Basie fold for a 10-month stint, cut short by his being drafted into the army during !World_War_II. add something

 

Bob Thiele - At 17 he founded the Signature Records label and recorded many jazz greats, including Lester Young, Errol Garner and, in 1943, Coleman Hawkins


1944

In August 1944 Young appeared alongside drummer Jo Jones, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, and fellow tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet in Gjon Mili's short film Jammin' the Blues. add something

 

In September 1944 Young and Jo Jones were in Los Angeles with the Basie Band when they were inducted into the U.S. Army. add something

 

Barney Kessel - In 1944 he participated in the film Jammin' the Blues, which featured Lester Young, and in 1947 he recorded with Charlie Parker's New Stars on the Relaxin' at Camarillo session for Dial Records.


1945

He served one year in a detention barracks and was dishonorably discharged in late 1945. add something


1946

Don Byron recorded the album Ivey-Divey in gratitude for what he learned from studying Lester Young's work, modeled after a 1946 trio date with Buddy Rich and Nat King Cole. add something

 

Young joined Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic troupe in 1946, touring regularly with them over the next 12 years. add something

 

Al Killian - In 1946 Killian started his own big band, but soon quit bandleading to tour with Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series, where he played alongside such musicians as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lester Young


1947

Roy Haynes - From 1947 to 1949 he worked with saxophonist Lester Young, and from 1949 to 1952 was a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's quintet


1948

Joe Shulman - He worked with Peggy Lee from 1948-50 and with Lester Young in 1950; he did a recording session with Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington that year


1949

Junior Mance - He joined Lester Young in 1949 for almost two years, and rejoined Ammons several months in 1951 before being drafted into the U. S. Army

 

Connie Kay - He was self-taught, and prior to the MJQ he had played in the Lester Young quintet from 1949 to 1955, and with Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and others

 

Greenwich Village - Notable performers there included among others: Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Burl Ives, Lead Belly, Anita O'Day, Charlie Parker, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Paul Robeson, Kay Starr, Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Josh White, Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, and The Weavers, who in Christmas 1949, played at the Village Vanguard


1950

Tony Fruscella - He served as a sideman for numerous jazz musicians in the 1950s, including Charlie Barnet, Lester Young, Gerry_Mulligan and Stan Getz

 

Aaron Bell - In the 1950s, Bell appeared on Billie Holiday's album "Lady Sings the Blues" and with Lester Young, Stan_Kenton, Johnny Hodges, Cab Calloway, Carmen McRae, and Dick Haymes

 

John Ore - In the 1950s, he worked with Tiny Grimes, George Wallington, Lester Young, Ben_Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Elmo Hope, Bud Powell and Freddie Redd

 

Eddie Jones (jazz musician) - Jones grew up in Red Bank, New Jersey, and played early in the 1950s with Sarah Vaughan and Lester Young

 

Bill Dowdy - The Three Sounds recorded over ten jazz albums from the 1950s through the early 1970s and played with Lester Young, Lou_Donaldson, Nat Adderley, Johnny Griffin, Anita O'Day and Sonny Stitt among others


1951

From around 1951, Young's level of playing declined more precipitously, as he began to drink more and more heavily. add something

 

Wynton Kelly - He recorded 14 titles for Blue Note in a trio , and worked with Washington, Gillespie, and Lester Young during 1951-1952


1952

A comparison of his studio recordings from 1952, such as the session with pianist Oscar Peterson, and those from 1953–1954 demonstrates a declining command of his instrument and sense of timing, possibly due to both mental and physical factors. add something


1953

Holiday died four months later at age 44. add something

 

Vernel Fournier - As house drummer at the Bee Hive club on Chicago's South Side in 1953-55, he accompanied many visiting soloists, including Lester Young, Ben_Webster, Sonny Stitt, J.J. Johnson, Earl Washington and Stan Getz

 

Will Davis (musician) - As the house pianist at the Crystal Bar, he backed Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Charlie Parker with Miles Davis in 1953


1954

Sarah Vaughan - In the fall of 1954, she performed at Carnegie Hall with the Count Basie Orchestra on a bill that included Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Lester Young and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

 

Dan Terry - The September 25, 1954, Carnegie Hall performance was featured in a live album called "Birdland All-Stars at Carnegie Hall" with Count Basie and Lester Young on Roulette Records


1956

Lester Young in Washington, D.C., 1956, with house-band the Bill Potts Trio. add something

 

In January 1956 he recorded two Granz-produced sessions featuring pianist Teddy_Wilson (who had led the Billie Holiday recordings with Young in the 1930s), trumpet player Roy Eldridge, trombonist Vic Dickenson, bassist Gene Ramey, and drummer Jo Jones - available on the Jazz Giants '56 and Prez and Teddy albums. add something


1959

Lester Young died in 1959 add something

 

Lester Young made his final studio recordings and live performances in Paris in March 1959 with drummer Kenny Clarke at the tail end of an abbreviated European tour during which he ate next to nothing and virtually drank himself to death. add something

 

Jamil Nasser - He went on tour in Europe and North Africa with Idrees Sulieman in 1959, went to Paris and recorded with Lester Young


1960

Although at a very young age Young did not initially know his father, he learned that his father was a musician. add something

 

Bill Morrissey - He seems to have found his craft and his own voice in the American country blues of Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson, the pure country of Hank Williams, the Kansas City jazz of Count Basie and Lester Young, and the New York folk songwriters of the 1960s


1970

Dave Pell - In the 1970s he assembled the group Prez Conference, a Lester Young tribute ensemble


1986

Dexter Gordon - In 1986, Gordon starred in the movie Round Midnight as 'Dale Turner', an expatriate jazz musician much like himself; the role might even be a thinly veiled biography of him, though Lester Young and Bud Powell were its main inspirations.


1999

On their 1999 album "Live", saxophonist Karl Denson introduces the song by saying, "now some folks may have told you that Lester Young is out of style, but we're here to tell you that the Prez is happenin' right now add something


2003

On 17 March 2003 Young was added to the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame, along with Sidney Bechet, Al Cohn, Nat "King" Cole, Peggy Lee and Teddy Wilson add something


2008

On January 31, 2008, Sady Sullivan conducted an oral history interview with Dr Lester W Young Junior add something