Lester Young

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About Lester Young

A man of poetic sensibilities, tenor saxophonist Lester Young was the instrument's most influential figure in the pre-bop era. A featured soloist with the great Count Basie band of the late 1930s, Young scaled the heights on classic recordings of "Taxi War Dance" and "Lester Leaps In." Although some claim that mental and physical abuse while in the military cast a shadow on his postwar work, there is ample evidence on record of unabated brilliance up until his premature death in 1959. His solo work, characterized by a light sound, asymmetrical, behind-the-beat phrasing, and a startling sense of originality, remains unsurpassed in its depth and delicacy of expression.

Woodville, MS, United States
August 27, 1909

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