king ubu

*****Lester Young Corner*****

351 posts in this topic

I take this from peter rh. who posted it on AAJ.

I received lots of Prez recently, did a search, and found we have no Prez Corner here (I stand corrected, of course, in case...), and thought why not dig this up from the "old board".

ubu

--------------------------------------------------------------

Author Topic: Lester Young rounded corner

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted April 28, 2001 04:05 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you find large amount of distinction between Pres and Mulligan or Desmond, as far as it is talk about sound and phrases...?

Or, perhaps, something else?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted April 28, 2001 11:58 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well I believe both Mulligan and Desmond where influenced by Pres. So while Mulligan and Desomond have there own style it is rooted in Pres style I believe. As much as I enjoy Mulligan and Desmond, Pres is in his own universe in comparision to the other two. IMHO

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 29, 2001 12:32 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I could write a 999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,

999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,

999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999

word post about Lester Young, use every word I know, make up about a million more, spend the rest of my life doing it, and still only scratch the surface of how Lester Young affects me. I don't think I'm alone.

This (Lester) is a deep subject.

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted April 29, 2001 01:28 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSnugry,

I can totally agree with your words.

My idea with comparison was the one that occupied me through time and from the moment I heard both Desmond and Mulligan after I heard Pres.

But, sure, whatever I write, or ask, it is not deep enough.

All we can do is not to listen to music... just soul.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 29, 2001 02:32 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, man, you're on time. (That's good!)

Desmond and Mulligan were DEEPLY influenced by Prez. Them I can talk about. I love them both.

Lester, though, unlike all but less than a handfull of other players, gets me in a spot that I can't really explain. It's a very personal thing I suppose...

Lester deserves a thread of his own. Good call!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted April 29, 2001 08:10 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyone hear a lot of Trumbauer in Pres? I have been hearing it lately; been listening to Tram and of course Pres said he was influenced by Tram's recordings near the beginning.

I find it ironic that Pres admits to being influenced by a few white players, and that scores of white players were deeply fascinated with Pres. Kindof a nice round circular corner.

I am with you folk: Pres is a world of his own, an intelligence and feeling that was unique and a swing that was so damned infectious. . . it is like an incurable disease! I feel about Pres the way Aric feels about Mobley, but like JS I am hard put to put words to the feelings! (Not a problem Aric has!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted April 29, 2001 12:54 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No music gives me greater pleasure or affects me deeper than that of Lester Young.

I am glad to see that I am not alone.

Trumbauer in Pres? Absolutely! Pres always cited Trumbauer as a primary influence.

It is interesting to listen to the Bix and Tram and KC6 sessions on Commodore back-to-back. The entire feel is very similar. There is even a common track: "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans"

Sudhalter tries to make the case that Bud Freeman was also a major influence on Lester Young. I guess that there might be some similarity in the phrasing on the up-tempo numbers. But I don't know if I really buy the overall argument.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted April 29, 2001 12:58 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon,

good point. Black musician heavily influenced by two - all of them were white musicians - Frank Trumbauer and Jimmy Dorsey.

I've spend some time listening to Trumbauers solos - yes there is a little bit in Pres' later solo work, but...

Pres has unique concept of swing, and melodic conception close to jazz (I've read that Trumbauer *programmed* the way he would improvise to given tune...).

And the silence. That is the most important use of silence from Armstrong and Beiderbecke to his years.

Also, later, he has innovative intervals and dissonant licks which he invented to attracts listeners attention - he is always new, there is no repetition in the way he deals with the given material.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted April 29, 2001 01:11 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let me add something about dissonances: you can hear them as a device throughout Pres' career, but the most recognizable one came from jam session ("Honeysuckle Rose") at B. Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert 1938 - that chromatic notes in second chorus.

Later, the perfect use of dissonances you can hear in "Lady Be Good" solo with the Basie band a year or so later. Maybe, Hershel Evans illness affected Pres, and he might have been in a position to "cut" Chu Berry, who knows.

Critics often emphasized that "dissonant" point in his work. But it was not isolated part of his soloing, it was organic whole of his idiom, and the way he spoke to us.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 29, 2001 01:46 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan-

I hear you.

The "dissonances", false fingerings, etc. were pure communication!

As far as the Tram influence goes, I think first and foremost it was an influence of musical "attitude" - allowing true masculine tenderness and TOTAL vulnerability to be a part of the emotional repretoire of jazz-a very courageous step, in my opinion, and one that was always met with an implicit derision by many.

It's also a testament to the true depth of Prez that he influenced black players as profoundly as he did white ones. Not to open the "race issue", because it's not about race per se as much as it is about the culture of the times. But Illinois Jacquet, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, EVERYBODY was totally enthralled by this cat. Bird-JEEZ-early Bird's got Prez written on it's nads!

And the whole pre-rock R&B tenor style is TOTALLY rooted in Prez! It's intesting to see how his influence manifested itself in different cultures of his time. Suffice it to say it was omnipresent! In fact, a friend of mine once said that if Bird was "Jazz Jesus" then Lester was his "John the Baptist". (No offense meant-he didnt say it disrespectfully nor do I-just a contextual setting of the dynamic, nothing more!). I even believe that Joe Henderson's explorations of saxophone overtones using "false fingerings" is directly rooted in his admitted admiration of Lester as an early influence!

Obviously, i CAN talk about Lester as a "historical figure"! But the music itself still eludes verbalization and probably always will, thankfully.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Harold_Z

Member

Member # 1142

posted April 29, 2001 01:50 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hear a lot of Bud Freeman in Pres and it has to do with the use of triplets and 8th notes more so than tone. I think Tram's sound, and cool,in control, groove was the main influence there, but I hear a definite similarity to Bud's phrasing.

It's interesting in that Pres credited Tram as an influence (I mean..he oughta know!) but not Bud, although supposedly Pres would always ask for Bud records when visiting someone's home and listening to records.

My own thoughts on this make me wonder if perhaps Bud and perhaps Jimmy Dorsey, who were both often recorded, often heard players, were influences via osmosis... players heard them so much that they just absorbed certain elements into their own playing.

[This message has been edited by Harold_Z (edited April 29, 2001).]

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 29, 2001 02:40 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Harold_Z:

My own thoughts on this make me wonder if perhaps Bud and perhaps Jimmy Dorsey, who were both often recorded, often heard players, were influences via osmosis... players heard them so much that they just absorbed certain elements into their own playing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I definitely agree.

There is also the flip side-that in the early days of the music, there were undoubtedly "local" players who influenced people in their immediate community but were never heard by the public at large, but who influenced the people who were.

Also, in the early days, there had not been the stylistic evolutions that inevitably ocurred later on, so there was sort of a "common vibe" in the air, so to speak.

All I know for sure is that the beauty remains!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tony Jerant

Member

Member # 212

posted April 29, 2001 06:23 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jimmy Dorsey, in my view, appears to have been a huge influence on early jazz saxophonists. Charlie Parker copped to it, but I think many more were intrigued with his playing. The guy should be heralded more for this than for pop hits.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted April 29, 2001 06:26 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bud may have been an influence. I don't know; don't quite hear it as clearly as Harold does.

Yes, Pres's influence was beyond race. He was one fo those few who were just out there and so many stood back and said "wow" and shook their head, then shook their booty.

Definitely he was a huge influence on Bird, and through Bird so many. Possibly one of the top three influential players in the genre?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 29, 2001 07:44 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arguably the most fundamentally influential except Armstrong (Louis, that is ).

I think w/Jimmy Dorsey, it was not as much a question of stylistic influence as it was admiration for his instrumental command. The guy had MONSTER chops! All musicians respect that in a player, no matter what the musical output may be!

The Freeman influence on Pres has been much debated. Pres himself denied it & I am inclined to agree. But here again is a situation where lack of influence should not correlate to a lack of respect or a lack of fondness. I think that Prez HAD to hear in both Tram & Bud kindred spirits, players who were finding a personal voice that went somewhat against then prevailing trends. I think that respect and admiration of a fellow musician is more meaningful than the copping of specific elements!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted April 30, 2001 07:35 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I do think that the Tram influence was one of sound or tone as well. This may be a key link between Bud and Pres perhaps; they both have that light mellow sound, that C-Melody on tenor sound. . . .

[This message has been edited by Lon Armstrong (edited April 30, 2001).]

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted April 30, 2001 01:54 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A lot of people get into the whole Bean vs Pres thing but for me I love both equally. I never understand how people can not enjoy the greatness of both equally?

Both of them have equally influneced a great many musicians worldwide.

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted April 30, 2001 02:11 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime: I think that the so-called "Bean vs. Pres thing" reflects the fact that the two of them dominated the swing era on tenor, yet provided completely different approaches to the instrument and improvisation. I don't think many fans of swing tenor reject one in favor of the other. Which of the two might affect you the deepest is a personal thing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted April 30, 2001 03:04 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, I found that some points in Jimmy Dorsey technique on alto were copied later in Birds playing... Some records form Feb. 1935, such as "Weary Blues" or "Tailspin" has virtuous passages on alto with triplets and 32's notes. But it refers more to Birds "gunfire" bunch of fast notes, than to Lester's "cool" approach.

As far as Lester technique is discussed, there is often use of alternate fingerings which Jimmy Dorsey used also. But the rhythm of that device in Pres' improvised solos belongs to Kansas City more than to light dance music which often produced Dorsey Brothers.

When it's matter of discussion with Freeman influence you must remember Pres' words:

'Trumbauer was my idol. When I had just started to play, I used to buy all his records. I imagine I can still play all those solos off the record. He played the C melody saxophone. I tried to get the sound of a C melody on a tenor. That's why I don't sound like other people. Trumbauer always told a little story. And I liked the way he slurred the notes. He'd play the melody first and then after that, he'd play around the melody. I did like Bud Freeman very much. Nobody played like him. That's what knocked me out. I remember when he was with Benny Goodman.'

Also:

'I have great big eyes for Bix. I used to be confused between him and Red Nichols, but finally had to put Bix on top.'

(You can find interview with Nat Hentoff on: http://www.downbeat.com/sections/ar...78&id1=4450)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Di

Member

Member # 590

posted April 30, 2001 03:08 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks all,

I'm really enjoying this discussion!

Just now Lester occupies the center of my universe!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted April 30, 2001 03:19 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Diane B,

it's dangerous.

Pres is in the center of my jazz universe for nearly 15 years, from the moment when I heard him with tears in his eyes performing slow blues in that short film "Jammin' the Blues" (1944).

JuJu

Member

Member # 708

posted April 30, 2001 03:32 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The stars must be lining up on this topic because I've been listening to "The Complete Lester Young Studio Sessions on Verve" for the past week. I've especially been fascinated by this remark regarding Young's change of tone in the booklet by Dave Gelly.

"If it was simply a question of tone, one might settle for a purely mechanical explaination. It is ccertain that Young changed his mouthpiece at around this time [c.1940], from a matal Otto Link to a Brilhart Ebolin, made of a hard rubber material called ebonite. But saxophonists do not change mouthpieces on a whim and, from photographic evidence, this appears to have been the only time Young did so. He must have had good reason, and my quess is that he wanted a heavier sound. The implication to be drawn from this is not only that the changes in his playing were well advanced before his disastrous year in the army, but that they were the result of a conscious artistic decision. One thing is certain: Some of his finest and most characteristic work dates from late 1943 and 1944, when the process of change was well and truly established."

To me, this possibility speaks volumes about Young as an artist. There are not too many musicians who make that choice to change their sound. Also, just the beauty of Young's playing is enough to draw a person again and again to rediscover his greatness. So it's been a great couple of weeks getting to know Young's music on a deeper basis.

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 30, 2001 04:47 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah mm-it's VERY dangerous. I speak from experience. Lester has gotten so DEEP into my soul that i just have to STOP. Seriously. Just leave it alone. "Pretend" it doesn't exist.

That no doubt sounds melodramatic. Maybe it is. But it happens. The man's soul can infiltrate the deepest, most private places in my psyche like virtually nobody. Only my wife can f*ck with me like that. My playing changes. My outlook changes. My LIFE changes.

Perhaps this is too much information...

Di

Member

Member # 590

posted April 30, 2001 05:14 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thats OK JSngry....

Probably it's not enough information...

Refreshing to try though....as much as one might need and appreciate session date chronology and historical data that is so well served on this board, its a good thing to read how people feel about the music.

Maybe the important thing is just to do the best we can to try to express a few small moments. I let my dinner get cold tonight listening to Lester!

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 30, 2001 05:30 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The funny thing is, I PLAY nothing like Lester as far as "style" (the most evil, satanic word ever concieved when used even the LEAST bit carelessly) goes!

But...

Your dinner, eh?

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted April 30, 2001 05:45 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More.....OBJECTIVELY

The mouthpiece point is a very significant one. Tone is the MOST personal aspect of most people's playing. (just as an aside, back in the day, we saw GREAT significance in the BLOWING OF AIR to create life, as told in Genesis-a conceit none of us will admit to today, even though it lingers in the id). A minor mouthpiece change is not unusual. But a TOTAL change is profound, definitely NOT undertaken on a whim - this is your VOICE you're talking about here, your most intimate means of expression, not just a tool for playing music, but....

You get the point.

Like I said, Prez is DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Di

Member

Member # 590

posted April 30, 2001 06:10 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A cool toned dinner saved by the microwaves.

Art can be technical....maybe Lester played the brighter sounding metal mouthpiece with Basie for the cutting power? I mean to say that even a guy with Lester's unique voice had to make it through all the riffing!

More small group settings after the early 40's allow for a more intimate voice....so he chose to make the mouthpiece switch. Just speculating as I'm no Lester scholar, but I used to play, and remember the feedback from trying different mouthpieces.

Who can know? I love the results.

[This message has been edited by Diane B (edited April 30, 2001).]

Shawn

Member

Member # 502

posted April 30, 2001 06:38 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Count me among the Pres disciples! Yet another poster who has no idea how to put how Pres makes me feel into words. It just feels like the guy plays directly to your soul.

I recently aquired the Verve box (I had most of the recordings except for the John Lewis dates) and I've been listening non-stop for the last week. I must disagree with those who think his Verve material is weak, there are some truly gorgeous recordings in this set. While it's painful to listen to the last couple of sessions I still enjoy them, in very much the same way as Billie's later recordings. The link between them is fascinating to me.

As for the whole Hawkins/Young thing, I believe they were both kings in my book and I find it marvelous that you can fit almost all tenor players into one or the other of their "schools". Would love to travel back in time to hear one of their famous "duels".

I got turned onto Lester's work through my love of one of his key "followers", Hank Mobley. Hank was one of the best of the Young school, I would love to have heard those two play together....

--

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted April 30, 2001 06:51 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am definitely a Hawk fan too, but the personality in Pres's music appeals to me more. The tenderness, and the abandoned swing. . . . Not that there aren't both in Hawk's work, but the emphasis seems elsewhere, there seems both more concious structured work adn more dileberation to me in Hawk's music. These last years I move more and more towards ballads and that easy medium swinging joy. . . and deeper into Pres land.

Blown instruments are very foreign to me technically and as music makers, because I have always plucked, touched keys or struck music. There is something so very personal about these instruments that the lips touch and the breath power. It is very much like a voice that you hear, and just as some voices are far more appealing to a person than another, for whatever reason, some are compelling. And to me Pres's voice is captivating, and he has my attention when he tells that little story.

------------------

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted April 30, 2001 09:42 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Diane:

It also says in the Verve Booklit on page 74:

"In a 1950 interview with Leonard Feather, Young said, "I always have a plastic reed on my tenor." Because plastic does not absorb moisture, droplets of condensation tend to become trapped between reed and mouthpiece. This is why plastic reeds have never been very popular, and almost certainly accounts for the faint bubbling or hissing sound that invades Young's tone during many of these recordings. It is particularyly noticeable during the ballads made at the excellent session of November 28, 1952, originally issued as Lester Young With the Oscar Peterson Trio. Listen to "I Can't Get Started" (Disc Two, track 20, both false start and master) for clear examples. The plastic reed factor is so pervasive in Young's later recordings that it has to be regarded as part of his overall sound. On a good day like this it is perfectly acceptable, but later it became and encumbrance."

I really love the Verve Box myself. When I first started to notice the bubbling or hissing I figured it was a problem from the age of the tapes. It wasn't until I actually read the booklit that comes with the Box that I found out what was really causing the noise.

I wonder why Pres used the plastic reed if there appeared to be a problem caused by using one?

When Pres says he always has a plastic reed does he mean since plastic reeds where made or around the time of 1950 and onward?

Could this be the reason that people think his later playing is not as good as his earlier playing?

Personally, though his earlier playing is better I still love his later playing. Pres on his worst day is better then a great many on there best day. IMHO

Lon:

Both Bean and Pres equally move me. I could not choose between them. Both are on my list of musicians that I am trying to get every recording of theirs I can get a hold of. There isn't a week that goes by without my listening to Bean and Pres.

All this talk of Bean and Pres makes me want to listen to them now. Will be listening to a couple Disc's off Verve Set at the moment have Disc One with Nat "King" Cole & Buddy Rich. Later a couple discs of Bean's Complete Keynote Recordings. By the way if you ever have a chance to pick this set up jump all over it!! Can't praise and recommend it enough!!

A somewhat embarrassing story how I got the Bean Box Set. It was one of my first purchases when I got into jazz almost 4 years ago. A widow was selling her husbands collection in England. She posted that she was selling the collection on the old Jazz Station, which I had only been going to for about 10 days and had found by accident one day. It was a huge collection and I ended up getting about 120 CD's for only $500. I had no idea who Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young for that matter was at the time, I was that new to Jazz.

I had to go through her whole list one CD at a time on AMG Online Site and Penguin Book. LOL It took 3 or 4 days by the time I found out what I wanted to "gamble" on buying since I had never heard of most of the musicians. In the meantime people where picking off CD’s while I was trying to find out what to pick. At this point I only had a total 12 Jazz CD's by Miles, Monk and Coltrane, Duke. It's a very embarrassing story now and I can't believe all the amazing and priceless and OOP stuff I picked up for next to nothing.

This Bean Box cost only $10. Now that I know what’s going on and it really angers me when I think of what I passed on at the time.

If I had to do it over again I would have just bought the whole CD and LP collection and sold what I didn’t like and the LP’s on Ebay. Not that I had heard of Ebay at the time either. Not sure if Ebay was even around at that time.

Ok I bored you all enough.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Di

Member

Member # 590

posted May 01, 2001 03:33 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's interesting Mnytime.

I've never heard of plastic reeds.

Maybe tenor players JSngry or Headley Stott might know something about this. Guess the idea was a reed that never needed adjustment, that might last a long time....hey, there were plastic alto saxes around!

I've always had a few recordings of Pres and Bean around, but just lately I've been wanting ALL the recordings of these two.

These guys are two very different minds at work and play obviously, and for each the tenor is a unique sounding instrument. But it's funny....there are days when I bounce back and forth between the two, really enjoying the difference. But it has been far from an academic comparison...not just how they move around within the song. It has become far more personal than that and I'll join the group of us here that cannot come close to expressing those feelings. Actually I remember an LP of the Signature recordings where side A was Hawk and side B was Lester. That was probably my first exposure to them in small group settings so it seems natural.

It is possible for me to say way too simply, that when Hawkins is playing I tend to be listening to the amazing way he has of moving around through the harmony and structure of the song. His expressive tone makes it hard to be just intellectual about it though. When he plays I feel Hawkins' power and glory...he seems ready to meet the challenge!

He is gruff and rumbling, screaming and honking..he uses an incredible vocal style to express his very cerebral sense of hearing and expressing. And because of that vocal sound, my impression of him is not to be analyzing his playing ...but to hear this expressive and demonstrative guy talking to me!

When Lester Young plays I hear a new song...and that song IS a new story. One note can do it. He touches me emotionally far more often. One is not better for me...just to admire in different ways.

I feel like my listening has changed. The world can be a hard place for a sensitive soul and Lester Young has just recently emerged from the "big wall of CD's" and offered me a little peace.

My best friend and someone who I work with a lot every day doesn't know an alto sax from a tenor, she certainly isn't musically obsessed like me....usually asks me to turn my music down! She works in the next room and generally is not that interested in the music I play .... but she can pick out Lester instantly. "That's Lester" she says, poking her head in my doorway..."play more of him won't you?" So I do...no problem!

Sorry for the ramble, but this IS the "rounded corner!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 01, 2001 04:15 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I will agree, that there is no discussion between Bean and Pres. Hawkins was the man who did it firs on sax, he defined the instrument, he has knowledge in music theory that gave him power to go anywhere he wants. Also, I like his playing very, very much, it leaves you in feelings of listening to good, strong music.

But, if there is comparison of two solo works from the same period, (on the same "Body and Soul", that of Bean form 1939, and that of Pres from 1942), I will always add my vote to the Pres, because he has something which I can not find in Beans work - that gorgeous "telling a (saddest, emotional) story" effect. Bean always pointed that he "only blew his horn", more with harmonies in mind, then to "words of the song".

Pres also has better feeling for the blues, I think (listen to ingenious "Slow Motion Blues", from 1950's, with John Lewis on piano).

Main subdivision of Pres' tone can be separated in three groups; the one from 1936-42 influenced everyone in the number of Pres disciples.

I cannot find drastic differences - sometimes it has "coolness" (as on "Basie's Bad Boys" dates, KC 6, - why didn't they recorded more - or records with Basie form 1940), sometimes it's a bit intense...

But the music form 1943 and 1944, and all his postwar sessions (the one with Nat Cole's is characteristic) has strong tone, full of vibrato... it lasted till the 1950 I think.

One question to members of the "circle corner":

- do you find any difference in Pres' music right after the Army experience (no, I don't - his speech is full of joy and vitality, so does his soloing)?

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 01, 2001 08:44 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan:

One question to members of the "circle corner":

- do you find any difference in Pres' music right after the Army experience (no, I don't - his speech is full of joy and vitality, so does his soloing)?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If we are talking about the "heavier tone" that is being discussed above, I think that the major break was after he first left Basie, after the last session with Billie Holiday in March 1941, but before the first recordings with Nat King Cole in July 1942. That is before the army. I wonder if the effect of the army on Pres' playing might be somewhat exaggerated. I find that the major new presence in Pres' recordings from the second half of the 1940s is the incorporation of more bop-related ideas. But his tone is similar to the pre-Army small group recordings from 1942 and 1943.

Listening to Pres' recordings from the 1930s-1950s, one hears lots of changes, ups and downs, triumphs and troubles. I think that it wasn't just a one-dimensional evolution.

For example, I think that a particular peak period for Pres was 1949-1950, heard in his last magificent Savoy session, the JATP recordings, and several other superior live dates (including the "Jazz Immortals" disk on Savoy). Although I certainly enjoy Pres' recordings between 1951-55, I don't find them to be quite as satisfying. The physical problems that often plagued his later playing began to emerge. But, suddenly, Pres came back strong in 1956 with a number of timeless recordings!

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 01, 2001 11:06 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with almost all you say John. The post Army bop and r and b infusions are what I most hear changed from before the Army. And I also think that there were later masterpieces and that there were lots of recordings in the first half of the fifties that weren't among his best.

Perhaps what appeals to many of us is Pres's humanity. He had bad periods personally and professionally. He gave us the highs and the lows and all in between. He was such a communicator that his personality and character and weaknesses all came through.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 01, 2001 11:10 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well put, Lon. There is a certain human vulnerability in Pres that was audible even in the 1930s when he could do no wrong. It just became more pronounced later on.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 01, 2001 02:06 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want perfection in discovering such nuances we are discussing about, personally, my opinion is - the major change in his tone happened after Net Cole's session (from 1942). Pres has tone which is similar to those days spent with Basie.

The period from 1951-55 has ups and downs, but the music is great, also. Live dates (form Birdland or Royal Roost) are truly amazing, and studio date with Oscar Peterson is marvelous. As I mention before "Slow Motion Blues", is perhaps masterpiece.

Lon, John,

have you heard early live dates - one extended version of "One o'clock Jump", or "From Spiritual to Swing" concerts?

Also, anyone has Lee&Lester Band recordings?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 01, 2001 02:12 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, I have that stuff. Truly wonderful stuff. I wish there were a lot more of the Lee and Lester band, some commercial recordings would have been great. With Shad Collins and John Collins (?) this was a really nice band that was quite popular; a real shame there are no official recordings!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 01, 2001 02:34 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon,

Lucky you!

Lee Young and Nat Cole were close friends. I've read somewhere, that the balance of this band influenced later Nat Cole's recordings.

With Shad Collins on trumpet, John Collins on guitar, Red Callender on bass and two brothers on sax and drums, that must have been polished music!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 01, 2001 04:05 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Busy day, Mavericks game /son tonite gotta post FAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSST!

Lon-all I have by the Lester/Lee Band is a tape dub of "Historical Lester" (Everybody's EV3002 & I would not be surprised by what I found myself doing to get a "hard copy"....

Is there more than the 3 cuts on that album?

That album & a few other have Basie air shots from '44, when he briefly rejoined the band, but didn't record w/it. (Union ban in effect I think), and the tone was deeper then. But GOD the swing was ferocious. One cut "KC Stride" (Based on "I cant Believe that you're in love with me) has Lester stetching out-3 choruses i think, and it's unlike anything you've EVER heard!

There are beaucoups of early Basie air shots w/prime prez, and lets not forget "honeysucle rose from the jam @ BGs 1st Carnegie...

Diane B-the "cocktail party" post was good natured BS

When i talk music, i speak from the heart, if not always the head

GOTTA GO

Bad traffic and tip-off awaits!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Di

Member

Member # 590

posted May 01, 2001 07:21 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh don't worry about it JSngry! No need to clarify! I know BS when I read it!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 01, 2001 11:13 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your Wayne post a few weeks ago leads me to believe that you understand things VERY clearly! Glad that nothing was misconstrued.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 02, 2001 01:07 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan:

All of the existing recordings of Lester Young from 1941 through the 1942 Nat King Cole date without Basie or Billie Holiday can be found on Lester Young Masters of Jazz vol. 2. That includes the only scraps that we have (unfortunately) of the Lee and Lester band.

Lester Young Masters of Jazz vol. 1 is very worthwhile as well It has some great rare material on it, including a session under the leadership of a certain terrible organ player named Glenn Hardman (Hardman did atleast have the humor to record "Upright Organ Blues" at that session!) Lester Young is in another world, however, taking a series of extended solos that have to be heard to be believed.

As JSngry indicates, there exists quite a bit of live Basie with Pres, much of it in very good sound. The majority of it has been released on Masters of Jazz Count Basie vol. 3-11. If you love the 1930s Basie band with Pres, I highly recommend this series. Roughly half of the music is from live dates.

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 02, 2001 01:23 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by John Litwack:

...can be found on Lester Young Masters of Jazz vol. 2. That includes the only scraps that we have (unfortunately) of the Lee and Lester band.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are there more than the 3 cuts on that "Historical Lester" LP? I hope so...

And what about the '44 Prez/Basie airshots, have they been comprehensively gathered on CD? Once again, I hope so...

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 02, 2001 01:50 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One of the most, if not THE most, revealing insights into Lester's psyche is a story told by Lester to Nat Hentoff. It seems that when Lester was a child, in the South, he had occasion to attend a tent-style Revival meeting held by an itenerant evangelist. Lester said that he was deeply moved by the preacher's message and was totally filled with the spirit. He decided to commit, and when the minister called for all who wanted to be saved to come to "The Mourner's Bench" (I believe that that is the term he used), Lester eagerly went forward, because the preacher had stressed, and Lester truly believed, that that was the ONLY way to avoid the eternal wrath of God, only to find out, when he got there, that The Mourner's Bench, the one and only way to salvation, was reserved for whites only....

This happened to him when he was a child.

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 02, 2001 03:32 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry,

Lewis Porter in one of his books about Pres talks about reminiscences which were recorded by young doctor who was with Young for the last years, and this material is to date unpublished.

Words about Pres' character told us that he was deeply religious man.

John, Lon,

I think that Lee Young is still alive.

The most interesting thing about that band is - that some arrangements were made by Billy Strayhorn!

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 02, 2001 05:08 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I could certainly believe that Young was very religious in his very own personal way.

JS, those airshots should have been out on cd, though many are probably out of print now, on labels such as Masters of Jazz, Jass, Stash, Music and Arts. . . .

I have the Lee and Lester band cuts on the same Masters of Jazz cd that John does; I don't know what the remaining tracks are on that lp, but my guess is that they have been out on cd in one of the cds from the labels above.

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 02, 2001 05:51 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry: Yes, there exist quite a few airshots of Basie with Pres from 1944. As far as I know, nobody has gathered them in any comprehensive way yet. And don't count your fingers about Masters of Jazz reaching 1944 in their Basie series any time soon. They are only at early 1939 at present, and have apparently run out of financial steam. Masters of Jazz only releases a few disks a year now, and a grand total of 2 Basie disks were released in the last 5 years or so.

I have seen a few obscure disks with some of the live 1944 tracks. There is also a nice disk that collects tracks made for Jubilee with that band. I forgot what label it is on. Can you rescue me, Lon?

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 02, 2001 05:58 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That would be a disc on HEP that I think has the alternates and extras, and the masters appear on a Jass cd I believe, at least it is one of the Stash-Daybreak labels, Jass or Vintage Classics. . . .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 02, 2001 06:03 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Lon. It was the HEP release that I was thinking of. Very nice.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris Albertson

Member

Member # 551

posted May 02, 2001 06:16 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by John Litwack:

There is also a nice disk that collects tracks made for Jubilee with that band. I forgot what label it is on. Can you rescue me, Lon?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was recently issued by Storyville (Denmark) and also contains a comedy skit featuring Jimmy Rushing and Butterfly McQueen.

Here are the details:

A single CD containing two Jubilee Shows (No.s 96 and 171). These 2 broadcasts originated from NBC's Hollywood studios in the mid-Forties.

The performers are Count Basie's band (w. Lester, Harry Edison, Joe Newman, Buddy Tate, Earle Warren, Jo Jones, et al). The vocalists are Jimmy Rushing and Thelma Carpenter. The first show also contains a comedy skit featuring Jimmy Rushing, Butterfly McQueen, and the show's MC, Ernest "Bubbles" Whitman.

The second show features Jimmy Mundy and his All Stars (a big band that includes Teddy Buckner, Juan Tizol, Willie Smith, Jack McVea, and Allan Reuss); Erroll Garner; The Nat King Cole Trio; The Slim Gaillard Trio (w. Leo Watson); and what is most likely harpist Robert Maxwell's quartet (some have claimed this to bea Milton Delaney group or the Saldu Jazz Quartet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Author Topic: Lester Young rounded corner

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 02, 2001 07:55 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This may have come out on RST as well. I have found most of those RST reissues of the shows; wonderful!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 02, 2001 09:09 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The '44 airshot i REALLY want on CD dates from April or May from the Hotel Lincoln. Is that on any of the discs you all mention?

Regarding the "religious" story, I read it in a book called "The Jazz Makers" by Hentoff & Nat Shapiro. It was reprinted in abridged form in Lewis Porter's "A Lester Young Reader" (essential reading, in my opinion) but that segment was edited out! Why, I can't understand, because it goes on to talk about how, in the last years of his life Lester finally found the peace with God he had been looking for. It says something to the effect that for most of his life, Lester had been living with an attitude that he loved God, but God didn't/couldn't love him. THAT, I think, goes a long way towards explaing the profoundly joyous melancholy in his playing, which is as close as I can come to putting his emotional feel into words.

Do the documented Lester/Lee cuts number more than 3?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 02, 2001 11:33 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On "Round Trip" SUMCD 4045 (1996 issue), named "Count Basie" there is one track "Let's Jump". Since there is no information on CD booklet, and since Young take two chorus long solo with typical heavy tone, I think that this recording is from 1943. or 1944.

Next, on "Count Basie, Classic Collection" (GFS243) there is "Kansas City Stride", (beside Decca and Columbia 1936-41), and it can be from the same period.

These two Young's solos are showing his greatness in full light, as well as his perfect control of instrument and melodic ideas.

Savoy's double LP (SJL 2202) features Lester in front of the whole Basie's band from April 1944 - but without Basie (it was contractual reason). Material is excellent. There is Earle Warren singing on one track, but Pres has no eyes for him. Anecdotic remembering is stamped - at the stage, with no lights (it was the scene) Pres burned out chart for tune "I Stuck the Match in the Dark", which Warren sung.

[This message has been edited by mmilovan (edited May 02, 2001).]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris Albertson

Member

Member # 551

posted May 02, 2001 12:58 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by JSngry:

The '44 airshot i REALLY want on CD dates from April or May from the Hotel Lincoln. Is that on any of the discs you all mention?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, the one I mentioned originated in NBC's Hollywood studios in September of '44.

The Basie selections are:

Avenue C

More Than You Know (vocal by Thelma carpenter)

Basie Boogie

Harvard Blues (vocal by Rushing)

I'll Be Seeing You (awful vocal by Earle Warren)

Jumpin' at the Woodside

(Catalog No. 501 0001)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 02, 2001 02:13 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry: Sorry, but I can't recall any of the CDs now. There is one track from the Hotel Lincoln in May 1944 (Harvard Blues) that Masters of Jazz included on Lester Young volume 6. I don't know why they included this track as the Lester Young series is suppose to feature all Pres recordings only without Basie or Billie.

I had some other 1944 air shots from Hotel Lincoln on LP, which I have now saved on cassette.

Masters of Jazz Lester Young volume 2 contains the two known tracks of Lee and Lester's band from 1941. Even these two tracks are incomplete. There are two other live tracks from 1941 by the "Lester Young band" featuring Shad Collins on trumpet. Volume 7 has some further scraps of Lee and Lester from 1944. I really emphasize the word "scraps." They are just bits and pieces in terrible sound that really don't add up to anything at all.

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 02, 2001 03:18 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are some intresting discographical issues here, perhaps. The "Historical Lester" LP That I mentioned above has 2 airchecks by the Lee/Lester band:

Two (Tickle Toe, Taxi War Dance) from the Manhattan Center dated 1940-41 & a given personel of, besides the Two Brothers, John Collins, Nick Fenton & Doc West;

And

another single item (Benny's Bugle & a set-closing theme) dated 12-2-41 from the Club Capri in LA. The non-Young personel is completely changed:Bumps Myers on 2nd tenor (what a wierd gig THAT musta been!), one Paul Campbell on tpt, Jimmy Rowles and Red Callender. This airshot item ends with a charmingly period sign-off for the Blue Network and refers to "Las Ang-il-eez" a pronunciation that always tickles me.

Mr Litwack, you refer to the two known tracks by the Young Brothers 1941 band, and two more with Shad Collins, also from 1941. Could you please corellate these items to the ones that I have descibed hear? I would very much like to know what I DON'T have so I can get about finding it!

On a non-data related matter, does anybody have any comments on the while "Evangelist" experience's effect on Prez' psyche, and the subliminal after-effects througout his life? It kinda seems a profound incident to me, on which could affect a person's fundamental attitude.

Discographies & God-it don't get any better than this!

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 02, 2001 04:10 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is insert from Whitney Balliet: "Jelly Roll, Jabbo, and Fats":

"The arranger Gil Evans knew Young on the Coast in the forties and in New York at the end of his life:

"Solitary people like Lester Young are apt to wear blinders. He concentrated on things from his past that he should have long since set aside as a good or bad essence. The last year of his life, when he had moved into the Alvin Hotel, he brought to the fact that his father had been displeased with him when he was a teen-ager because he had been lazy about learning to read music. But maybe his bringing that up at so late a date was only a vehicle for some other, present anger that he was inarticulate about. Sometimes that inarticulateness made him cry. A long time before, when I happened to be in California, Jimmy Rowles and I went to see Pres, who was living in a three-story house that his father owned. We walked in on a family fight, and Pres was weeping. He asked us to get him out if there, to help move him to his mother's bungalow in West Los Angeles. We had a coupe I'd borrowed, so we did - lock, stock and barrel. Those tears were never far away. I was with him in the fifties in a restaurant near Fifty-second Street when a man in a fez and robe came in. This man started talking about Jesus Christ, and he called him a prophet. Well, Pres thought he had said something about Jesus and 'profit'. He got up and went out, and when I got to him he was crying. I had to explain what the man had said. I don't know where he got such strong feelings about Jesus. Maybe form going to church when he was young, or maybe it was just his sense of injustice. He couldn't stand injustice of any kind."

From Lewis Porter book:

"As Connie Kay, who played drums with Young for a while, summed it up "Lester didn't feel he was getting the recognition he deserved, and finally he got to the point where he didn't care whether he lived or died".

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 02, 2001 07:09 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JS: Lee and Lester Young's Band: Club Capri, Hollywood, 12/2/41

Paul Campbell (tp) Bumps Meyer, LY (ts), Jimmy Rowles, Louis Gonzales (g), Red Callender, Lee Young

Benny's Bugle (incompl)

Sign Off (incompl)

Same, except Red "Mack" Morris (tp) replaces Campbell, Lester sings

Acetate, probably Feb-July 1942

Just a Little Bit South of North Carolina

Lester Young, Masters of Jazz Volume Two.

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 02, 2001 07:13 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then on Lester Young, Masters of Jazz Volume 6:

Red "Mack" Morris, Bumps Meyer, LY, Jimmie Rowles, Louis Gonzales, Red Callendar, Lee Young: Trouville Club, LA June 1942

Broadway (incl)

Benny's Bugle (incl)

Broadway

Oh Lady Be Good

Benny's Bugle (incl.)

I always think of the Taxi War Dance and Tickle Toe as with Lee Young, but according to Masters of Jazz Volume Two it is Shad and John Collins, Red Callender, and Harold "Doc" West. . . .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted May 02, 2001 08:39 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No one has any answers for my question's above regarding Pres and his use of plastic reeds?

Just won in a auction yesterday Lester Young in Washington DC, 1956 Vol 1-4 on Pablo. What do you think of these recordings?

I have seen a few times and tried to bid on something called The President Vol 1-6 that is supposed to be Radio Broadcasts that cover 1948-1953. It is put out by Jazz View. Is this what your all talking about above? If not is this set worth getting? Is it a legitmate release or a bootlegg?

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 02, 2001 11:10 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had only the first disk from each set you mentioned (and each label). Both of them are great, although some members in discussion maybe will not agree with me to the Pres on Jazz View. It seems that it covers the period to 1953. Among the members of Lesters band at that time were Jo Jones, John Lewis and Gene Ramey, and the music is fresh specially on flag-wavers like "Neenah", and deep on ballads... Also, you can hear some of structural devices that Young used (and, such as melodic extension through gigs, Young has ability to continue improvisation where he left off he week preceding).

But, the sound quality of the Jazz View is not good enough, and it needs some corrections (if you have an equipment you can adjust it)... Not to mention that source comes from bootlegs, to be more precise, form recorded radio broadcasts.

Pablo material form 1956, are slightly better in sound, and the music is great also. 1956. was the year of Pres' renaissance, and you can hear it in this recorded works. It is also live material.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 03, 2001 03:26 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mny, I am sure that Pres got something from the plastic reeds that he dug. Probably liked the way it changed his sound, and he may have even liked the way the bubbling problem sounded or felt to him. He probably just meant that he had used them ever since he discovered them.

I have about half of that Jazz View material on Jazz Band and another label. It is bootlegs because no artist estate is getting reimbursed, I am fairly certain. Those that I have are in pretty good sound, for this type of material. And interesting playing by all.

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 03, 2001 05:08 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One of the interesting features of the Jazz View series in the opportunity to hear Lester with the likes of Horace Silver and Wynton Kelly.

In general, the sound quality is fair-good. Lester is not always in top form, but he is never less than good. I think that this was the only time that he had "Blue and Sentimental" is his regular repertoire.

The Washington series is excellent: Great sound and very good vintage 1956 Lester.

Musically, the Washington series is superior. But the Jazz View series is a limited edition and is already getting scarce. That is the choice!

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 03, 2001 05:41 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for that information John. Going to have to look for a few of these Jazz Hours to supplement what I have (which is mostly the Lewis-Ramey-Jones band)on other labels.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 03, 2001 11:08 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First of all, a mea culpa-my notes for "Tickle Toe" & "Taxi War Dance" show, as noted above. Doc West on drums. Why I thought that brother Lee was also on those I have no idea! Intresting that Louis Gonzales is listed as guitarist-my notes have John Collins. Anybody have any background on Mr. Gonzales? He is unfamiliar to me. Anyway, it looks like the Masters of Jazz series has items that I don't. Gonna have to get them!

Regarding the plastic reed issue, I don't really know the history of these items. I do know that when I began playing as a child in 1966, that there were plastic COATED cane reeds whose main attraction was supposedly greater durability, but I managed to tear them up pretty quick. But 10-year-olds can do that to most anything, I suppose.

The "popping" sounds you hear are caused by saliva flying around in the mouthpiece. This can occur with ANY setup, but a plastic reed of any sort would perhaps intensify it. Honestly though, saliva usually gets blown through naturally, and the pops only occur when an inordinate amout of saliva builds up in the mouthpiece. It would take a conscious effort to keep that much moisture in play on a constant basis, and that is very possible in Lester's case. He was always very sensitive to the slightest nuances of sound, and as he grew older and more, for lack of a better word, "weary" you can hear many tonal effects that many have pointed to as signs of decline. Granted, there are moments where Prez is just not in good shape physically, but there are at least as many where he's sounding that way because he wants to. Maybe it takes a fellow tenorist to tell the difference, but I kinda doubt it.

I think that a lot of people listen to an artist and form their opinions based at least as much on what they WANT to hear as on what the artist is actually saying. Lester was still telling stories, deep stories, but they were not the same stories that he was telling in his early days. To tell the stories he had to tell, he needed a new vocabulary. He could have done this by utilizing any number of musical elements, harmony, rhythm, etc. and he DID change in these areas over time, but his most radical change was in the most fundamental area of music-pure sound. A personal sound has always(up until recently anyway, but that's another subject altogether) been a basic requirement for a "true" jazz player. Lester was a radical in this area from the onset, and remained one until the end. The tenor arguably has the most tonal possibilities and flexibility of any instrument, and Lester explored those possibilities perhaps more than anybody of his time. In fact, I beleve that you could trace most of the tonal (and microtonal) effects that many "free" players use back to Lester, although it might take a circuitous route. I have heard many people say that they feel "uncomfortable" listening to later Lester, and I think it's because they WANT to hear one thing and Lester just ain't givin' it to them. If I really wanted to be blunt, I could point out that if it's that uncomfortable for a stranger to LISTEN to, then how uncomfortable must it have been to FEEL however Lester felt to play it!

Re:the Hawk/Prez dichotomy, I kinda look at it as yin and yang, two opposing sides of the same coins. If you want to take a Braxton-ish view of it and look at the BIG picture, then you would have to say that Lester Young was a historical inevitability. That is, if you want to!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JuJu

Member

Member # 708

posted May 03, 2001 12:20 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree that some of Young's later works are uncomfortable to listen to, but that a good thing also. I think this is the part of Young being "deep" as JS says. Reflecting on this topic, It seems as if Young's playing is saying something about life as us humans live it. As I get older, I realize more and more, that life is not some upward progression, where you go from triumph to triumph. No, real life is a lot more complicated than that. There are time when I go to music to escape those down times, to try to forget that life can be harsh. When I listen to Lester, especially the later Young, I don't have that escape. Rather, I'm confronted with an artist producing music that reflects all of what life is about, it's great moments, as well as it's tragic moments. That for me, is what I'm beginning to hear in Young's music. I hear a man, who has been beaten at times by what life has to offer, yet, is trying to use those experiences to tell a story, trying to reflect all of life in his music. At times what Prez has to offer is not pretty, easy, or uplifting, but then again, at times, niether is life. To me, that's what makes Young a great artist -- someone who is getting deep into life, and sharing what he sees with all of us.

[This message has been edited by JuJu (edited May 03, 2001).]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 03, 2001 12:56 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Exactly.

marvin

Member

Member # 1102

posted May 03, 2001 01:04 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey Lon,

If you think Lester was religious in his own way, relisten to disc 8 of the Complete Verve set of Lester, if there is more than 10 words that goes by without profanity, I will salt my hat and eat it. But I dig what you are saying for sure, Lester is a guy that I collected for a long time but never listened to a lot for I was into the bop mode (Mobley, Ammons, Coltrane, etc,) but now I am fully into Lester. I have a record on Charlie Parker's label called Lester is Blue from 1950 and I really wish that I could find the cd so I could stop wearing out the grooves on the record. It is fabulous for sure, although I too, recognize Coleman as the king of the Sax and he has done way too much to not be considered the Master of the Tenor, or any sax for that matter. Silly me had a Commodore set with Hawkins and Frank Wess in reach and I choose to buy some Stanley Turrentine and now it is a collector's item, I hear, original record on Commodore with Oscar Pettiford. But I will listen to both a lot more, either is great but my preference is with the Hawk/Bean slightly over the President, but you can't go wrong with either.

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 03, 2001 01:15 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Personally, I don't think profanity has much to do with religion or godliness; I think those are just words. I could see Lester Young as being mystic at times, and I could see him as being one who pondered fate and destiny and other things religious as well.

Sure is nice to have this thread!

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 03, 2001 02:22 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime,

My highest recommendation to Cafe Bohemia dates form 1956. On LP which I own many years ago (Danish Storyville SLP4107), there are also a few dates with Horace Silver and Connie Kay from Birdland - 1953, and Lewis/Jones/Ramey accompaniment (form 1951). "A Ghost Of A Chance" has powerful ballad playing that fits some of Pres' highest recorded works, in my point of view.

I do not really know, is all that recordings have been transferred to CD.

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 03, 2001 02:36 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Somewhere back in the day, I read an article in a book that quoted a clergyman who had gotten close to Lester in his last years as saying something like, "Lester Young cursed more than any human being I have ever known. But when he did it, it wasn't profane or vulgar. It was sheer poetry."

I'm glad to have this thread too!

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 03, 2001 03:40 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry,

In one of my earlier discussions on this point, and in another thread, I put some thoughts about Lester's connection to free jazz. I said something about frequently usage of eccentric, irregular, out-of-time melodic passages that was very interesting to me. Other Young's disciples overlooked that simple effective invention, and they often copied the sound of prewar Pres.

Now, I can tell it was a race, which Pres won. He was so ahead of many direct and most indirect "copies". In his last days it was usage of tones that I mentioned, or long notes, or "shakes and trills" which Lewis Porter analyzed, or "wah-wah" inflections by pressing the lower keys below one which is used for producing a general intonation.

Yes, changes of tone were so complex, and hard to follow. On some occasion he used vibratoless notes, on the other, vibrato was part of his tone - and nearly intensive as Bean's or Frog's. His experiment with different types of reeds often resulted in "quasi" weakness of tone color, and in an effect of pronounced air blowing through his mouthpiece.

There is NO difference in "weakness" of that 1958 clarinet/tenor session with Eldridge and Sweets Edison and session form Nov. 1955 with Oscar Peterson and Sweets Edison again. Note that on the second one Peterson floated Young completely (especially on "One O'clock Jump). IT is the saddest session I ever listen to. Maybe, Pres was drunk or totally in possession of drug inhaling.

Lester's playing was transparent, someone said. He permit to arrows of life to get into his music. Most of the players had not (I think that Bird was fine example). There were always the same.

Lester was ALWAYS different.

But, despite all, As Mr. John Litwack said in one of his posts, Lester is for me, certainly, the most important jazz soloist of all times.

For reason I'll never be able to put in words.

Lon,

Acetate, probably Feb-July 1942

Lester sings "Just a Little Bit South of North Carolina"

Is the feeling similar to "Two To Tango" vocal?

For all members,

Do you know some typical Lesterian phrases that went into nowdays speech? I know that he originated: That's cool; The Big Apple...

Maybe, todays often usage of "vulgar" words also came from him (this is only a joke)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted May 03, 2001 09:45 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I don't understand is why Pres would use plastic reeds if it was obviously effecting his sound so much, especially later on in his life? Why use something that brings a negative to your sound? I mean he not only changed his mouthpiece but his reed. Your talking about very major changes that would have major effects on his instrument and sound. Is it possible that these major changes more then his time in the Army had the most effect on his

sound after his time in the Army?

Another thing I agree that you could start to hear the change in his sound before he went into the Army.

This brings up the question when did he change the mouthpiece and reed in relations to his Army Service? If the changes happened before his Army stay then it would be more likely the cause and not the Army experience.

mmilovan:

The Cafe Bohemia 56 recordings your talking about are they the Washington DC set I just won or a different recording? I wont be getting this set for several more days. To be honest I don't remember if the Bohemia is in DC?

On the whole subject on being religious and swearing. I am very religious but I have been known to use a profanity in my time. I don't think you can say someone is not as religous as the next person or as he or she should be because of something that minor. IMHO

By the way I am enjoying this thread as well. Now this is what I enjoy about this board. Intelligent conversation about a musician and music we love without the sillyness and childness. Those that have the knowledge sharing with those that may not have as much but without talking down to them or making them feel stupid no matter how stupid there question might end up being.

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 03, 2001 11:35 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

!!!!!!!!!On A Maverick High!!!!!!!!!!

The Cafe Bohemia was in NYC. The Jazz Messengers also did a live recording for Blue Note there, and Herbie Nichols was the intermission pianist!

The mouthpiece change was made, according to an earlier post by JuJu, around 1940, and Lester was inducted into the Army in 1944, and I seem to remember hearing that he was literaly drafted off the bandstand on a Basie gig! I don't claim to know that for a fact though, so anybody who can confirm or deny that, please do so!

I DO think that the Army experience has been miscast as the impetus behind his sound, but I also believe that it should not be underestimated in it's impact on his attitude. Down Beat, about 20 or so years ago published an excerpt from the court marshall transcript, and it is just ehat you would expect-they treat Lester like just another "Negro" soldier who doesn't want to behave. The punishments he was subjected to, including long periods in detention and verbal harranguing, are normal in Army life, but for a person of Lester's unique sensitivities, they HAD to be traumatic. Maybe the full effect wasn't felt immediately, but I would be willing to wager that, like the "evangelist" experience I refered to earlier, the Army experience lingered in Lester's psyche as yet another example of how twisted the world was and probably added to his sense of what I like to call "involuntary alienation".

By all acounts, Lester was truly a gentle soul. The Army was not intended for people such as him. It is a tragedy that SOMEBODY didn't intervene to at least put him in a special entertainment unit, or smething other than a regular infantry unit. Where was John Hammond? I don't mean that to be an indictment, I just want to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 04, 2001 05:14 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Mnytime:

What I don't understand is why Pres would use plastic reeds if it was obviously effecting his sound so much, especially later on in his life? Why use something that brings a negative to your sound? I mean he not only changed his mouthpiece but his reed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime,

I think it's a part of his development as an artist. It was part of his experiment, way he wanted to go. Don't forget, Billie Holiday once said, in Basie band, Lester and Hershel Evans were good friends. It was battle of tenors then, at the band stage, and Lester was fond of finding new ways to cut his "rival" at the bandstand. As far as I remember Lady Day spoke about trying a various types of reeds - only to find a way to be different from Hershel. I think Lester consciously continue that process, even Pres admitted in his later years, that he tries "not to be a repeater pencil", and "developed (his) saxophone to play it, make it sound like an alto, make it sound like a tenor, make it sound like a bass..."

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Mnytime:

mmilovan:

The Cafe Bohemia 56 recordings your talking about are they the Washington DC set I just won or a different recording? I wont be getting this set for several more days. To be honest I don't remember if the Bohemia is in DC?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, they are not. But the personnel on that sessions are similar (Bill Pots at the piano, Norman Williams on bass and Jim Lucht on drums, with addition of Idrees Sulieman on trumpet from time to time). The material consists of series of broadcasts and they were recorded form Dec. 15 till Dec. 29, 1956. and location was Cafe Bohemia, NYC.

Washington DC dates were recorded by Bill Pots and concerts were during December 7 and 8th, 1956.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 04, 2001 05:16 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Milo: the source material for "Just a Little South of North Carolina" is in very bad shape. Apparently this was a personally made demo of the band, and it has been played to death!

Unlike "Two to Tango" it is not Pres singing off the top of his head to what was ostensibly an instrumental arrangement. This was recorded with a vocal arrangement, sung with no interesting additions to the vocals, and with background voices by other band members. It is really hard to hear the music and the singing; 40% of the track is a jumble of 78 acetate noise. I believe it is Pres, in a very polished delivery, and it would be wonderful to find more tracks cut at this session or this track in better shape.

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 04, 2001 06:28 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is turning into a classic thread.

I don't recall that the Cafe Bohemia concert has made it to CD yet. But there was another great 1956 Pres concert released last year on CD by Hightone records: "Pres in Europe." Among other highlights, Pres really stretches out on a long slow blues in similar fashion to the incredible performance from 1950 on Savoy "Jazz Immortals." In fact, I like Pres in Europe even better than the Cafe Bohemia concert.

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 04, 2001 06:35 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Talking about the man's contribution to language (and I believe Jazz Times published a "full" list a cuppla years ago?), my two favorites are the aforementioned "repeater pencil" and his calling Pee Wee Marqutte "half a motherf**ker".

In the first place, what the hell is a "repeater pencil"? It is an item that has no concievable existence in real life; to concieve of such an item just leads to on absurd, surrealistic thought after another. But as Lester used it, it makes such PERFECT sense that it's literal absudity doesn't hit you until WAY after you hear it!

As for the Marquette apellation, the genius in the layers of meaning in that phrase really don't need any elaboration!

I have always felt that language can be as profound in the abstract as it can in the literal. Studying the life, music, and language of Lester Young was a major factor in me realizing that!

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 04, 2001 06:36 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW-Congratulations Lon, you put us on to page two!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 04, 2001 10:05 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Verve box set there is a pretty compreshensive list of "Lesterisms." I am particulary fond of the use of the word "draft"---that is real poetry. And also of "Bing" and "Bob" "Crosby."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted May 04, 2001 12:37 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry:

That may explain why he changed to plastic reeds but not why he stayed with them the rest of his career when they where causing a negative effect on his playing and sound.

Yes he was drafted off the bandstand when a FBI agent who was undercover dressed in a zoot suit as a fan during a Basie performance. When he was asked by another musician why he didn't open any of the letters sent him from the draft board he said his lifelong maxim was "never open letters with windows"

Dr. Willis Wiggins is supposed to be Lester's own nickname for himself according to the Verve Booklit. Does anyone know what and why he would use that?

You know if all those words they have in the Verve Lester Hipsters Disctionary are really his creations he invented a lot of slang that are still in use today. The majority of people who use these words have no idea who started using the word first.

[This message has been edited by Mnytime (edited May 04, 2001).]

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 04, 2001 01:15 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The only thing I can say about the plastic reed thing is that it seems that HE didn't view the effects as negative.

Yeah-I forgot about that Lesterism list in the Verve box. Got the box on a shelf right over the computer, actually. I've been having things like that happen quite a bit lately. I can't even blame the Army!

Another "inside" Lester expression is the title of a Basie cut that features one of his most memorable solos- "Pound Cake" -and we think the rappers are blunt!

Does anybody have any knowledge of how or if John Hammond tried to intervene on Lester's behalf regarding his army stay?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris Albertson

Member

Member # 551

posted May 04, 2001 02:08 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by JSngry:

Does anybody have any knowledge of how or if John Hammond tried to intervene on Lester's behalf regarding his army stay?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am almost certain that John didn't lift a finfer to help Lester out. For one thing, there is no mention in John's autobiography of him doing anything in this regard--you be sure that John would not have kept silent about it--he was a deft self promoter. Over the years, I had several conversations with him about the Basie band, including Lester, but he never patted himself on the back for stepping in.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 04, 2001 04:23 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey folks,

you are lucky enough to get that Verve stuff with booklet! My payments are so small, and channel from where it will be able to get that invaluable pack is narrow...

...

I'm really impressed, that there are so many people who thinks like me about this subject, and are deeply impressed with Pres' work.

...

Dr Willis Wiggins... maybe Willis was taken from his father's name (it brings me to a conclusion that Wiggins may be his mothers surname???)...

"Bing&Bob" was the synonym for the police, am I right? It came probably form the way they dressed in the public, or at the bandstand.

And what about "Catalina eyes, great eyes, no eyes...". Or his ability to coin nicknames for Harry (Sweets) Edison, Billie (Lady Day) Holiday, Lester (Shad) Collins?

What a man!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 05, 2001 05:45 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that the story is that Lester once had trouble from a policeman who he said looked like Bob Crosby, so he called policemen "Bob Crosbys" as in "Look out, Bob Crosby is in the house," and if there were more than one he would add "Bing" as in "Hide that stuff, Bob and Bing Crosby are in the house."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 05, 2001 07:35 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Lester Young was a true artist with words as well as music.

I have trouble believing some of the claims in the Verve Box book, however. Did Pres really invent all of these slang terms: cool, bread, cat, crib, dig, fuzz? It is hard to believe that they all came from one person. Didn't Pops, for example, already use the term "cat" back when Lester was still a boy?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 05, 2001 10:02 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am not sure that Pops was using that term that early, but yes, it is hard to swallow ALL those expressions and words coming from Lester. . . . Lester may have been the one to distribute them in his way. . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 05, 2001 12:46 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is from Bluenote web site, and it is biography of Stan Getz:

"A member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra by the time he was 17, Getz quit after he asked Kenton his opinion of Young and was told the work of his idol was too simple."

Great act, isn't it?

Pres and Getz were close friends...

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted May 05, 2001 01:43 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got the Washington DC set and I am really enjoying them today.

By the way has anyone heard "Jammin' with Lester"?

It's a really great 2Cd set that includes the soundtrack from the film "Jammin' the Blues". The second CD has Pres in different jam sessions with Bean, Illinois Jacquet, Buck Clayton and many other great musicians.

It's put out on CD by History. An easy recommendation for those that don't have it!

Chris Albertson

Member

Member # 551

posted May 05, 2001 01:46 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think you are right, John, too many slang words have been attributed to Lester, "cat" being one of them. And, apropos slanguage, there was also Babs Gonzales.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 05, 2001 03:55 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Whitney Balliett book "19 Portraits in Jazz" I found this explanation:

"Much if Young's language has vanished, but here is a sampling: "Bing and Bob" were the police. A "hat" was a woman, and a "homburg" and a "Mexican hat" were types of women. An attractive young girl was a "poundcake". A "gray boy" was a white man, and Young himself, who was light-skinned, was an "oxford gray". "I've got bulging eyes" fir this or that meant he approved of something, and "Catalina eyes", and "Watts eyes" expressed high admiration. "Left people" were the fingers of a pianist's left hand. "I feel a draft" meant he sensed a bigot nearby. "Have another helping", said to a colleague on the bandstand, meant "Take another chorus", and "one long" or "two long" meant one chorus or two choruses. People "whispering on" or "buzzing on" him were talking behind his back. Getting his "little claps" meant being applauded. A "zoomer" was a sponger, and a "needle dancer" was a heroin addict. "To be bruised" was to fail. A "tribe" was a band, and a "molley trolley" was a rehearsal. "Can Madam burn?" meant "Can your wife cook?" "Those people will be here in December" meant that his second child was due in December. (He drifted in and out of three marriages, and had two children). "Startled doe, two o'clock" meant that a pretty girl with doelike eyes was in the right side of that audience.

According to John Lewis:

"I don't think he consciously invented his special language. It was part of a way of talking I heard in Albuquerque form my older cousins, and there were variations of it in Oklahoma City and Kansas City and Chicago in the late twenties and early thirties. These people also dressed well as Lester did - the porkpie hats and all. So his speech and dress were natural things he picked up. They weren't a disguise - a way of hiding. They were a way to be hip - to express an awareness of everything swinging that was going on."

I heard that Young invented that famous name for NYC - The Big Apple, and he concluded: "Everybody wants to take a bite, but you have to qualify!"

And the most important excerpt from the book mentioned above - by John Lewis, also:

"While I was with him, I never heard any of the coarseness that people have said began creeping into his playing. I did notice a change in him in his last few years. There was nothing obvious or offensive about it. Just an air of depression about him"

Mnytime,

is there any alternative takes form the soundtrack - Lester's discographies mention them - or is it raw material?

I've heard, and I have some of numbers, and it is the most important jazz , which I ever heard. This film (when I first watched him, some 16 years ago) changed my life and attitude to music forever.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted May 05, 2001 04:10 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are the songs included on the Jammin with Lester set.

Just You, Just Me

I Never Knew

Indiana

Ghost of a Chance

Jump Lester Jump

Lester Blows Again

D.B. Blues

These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)

Jumpin' at Mesner's

Somebody Loves Me

I Want to Be Happy

Jammin' With Lester

After You've Gone

Lover, Come Back to Me

Lester Leaps In

She's Funny That Way

You're Driving Me Crazy

Lester's Be-Bop

Jumpin' With Symphony Sid

Lester Smooths It Out

I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)

Shoe Shine Boy

I Want a Little Girl

Countless Blues

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Pagin' the Devil

Them There Eyes

China Boy

What's Your Number?

Five O'Clock Whistle

Broadway

Afternoon of a Basie-Ite

Sometimes I'm Happy

Lester Leaps Again

Jo-Jo

Four O'Clock Drag

Three Little Words

Blue Lester

I Got Rhythm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted May 05, 2001 04:18 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And let's not forget Slim Gaillard a vouty.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris Albertson

Member

Member # 551

posted May 05, 2001 04:57 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Black performers were calling NYC "The Big Apple" in the 1920s, so that almost certainly did not come from Lester.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 05, 2001 05:18 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Chris Albertson:

Black performers were calling NYC "The Big Apple" in the 1920s, so that almost certainly did not come from Lester.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course, we are putting Lesterian vocabulary straight here, and it is an important thing to do.

But, for all members, I found that John Lewis observation so important. Lewis knew Young well.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Joe Christmas

Member

Member # 119

posted May 05, 2001 05:28 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not having seen this mentioned yet, what is the general consensus on the Aladdin Recordings among you Lester fans? Thanks.

Harold_Z

Member

Member # 1142

posted May 05, 2001 08:50 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris A. knows wherof he speaks.

The Aladdin recordings are well worth obtaining. In a nutshell - great Lester and great tunes, great sidemen, great rhythm sections.

Regarding "Slang", "Jive Talk" or whatever ultimately lame descriptive term projected upon the creative expressions utilized by musicians, African Americans, Hipsters, etc. I believe many of these phrases attributed to Pres, to Louis A., to whoever the subject

at hand may be, are phrases passed around the common HIP vernacular of the time. They were being interviewd and quoted and thus are credited as the originators of the phrases. They never claimed this credit and IMHO were probably amazed at the lameness of being credited with some of this.

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted May 05, 2001 11:22 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Aladdin Sessions are a must for any jazz fan but truly essential for any fan of Lester. IMHO

In regards to the words credited to Pres or Pops they where most likely started by someone else but because of the fame of those two and there use they became indentified with them. It still happens to this day in many things including fashion.

[This message has been edited by Mnytime (edited May 05, 2001).]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted May 06, 2001 03:33 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I second Mnytime's endorsement of the Aladdin sessions. They are not all perfect, but contain some of the greatest Lester Young on record. That is to say some of the greatest music on record.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 06, 2001 07:04 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's been a six or seven months, when I manage to get this sessions.

From that time, I never put that disc on the shelf, this is my all time favorite one disc set.

When it comes to the question what are my most enjoyable tracks - I will always mention 3 of them:

"Body And Soul" with Nat Cole

"Lester Smooths It Out"

"East Of The Sun" - incredible ballad playing, which I admired as one of the greatest solo work by both guitarist Chuck Wayne and Pres...

What other people think about John Lewis opinion of late Pres, which I citied?

Still more to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Author Topic: Lester Young rounded corner

Shawn

Member

Member # 502

posted May 06, 2001 07:56 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think Lester was very conscious of being "hip". From the way he dressed, he talked, to the music he played. Lon has mentioned in the past that Lester really lived the jazz life and the hipness is part of that equation. Mobley also fits this category, the shades, the hip song titles, the laid back and oh so swinging music he wrote....

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted May 06, 2001 03:11 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re:the Alladins-yes yes YES!

Re:John Lewis observation, the essence of which seems to be that Lester was really a highly visable individual member of a larger, less visable subculture- I agree 100%. Segregation and just plain ignorance of the different sociological groups in America of that time would have made someone such as Lester seem to have arrived "out of the blue" to the vast majority of Americans.

I don't know if it's THAT much different today...

On the other hand though, SOME of Lester's slang was so unique, so obviously his own, that credit, if that's what it is, should be given to him as being at least one of the more creative, poetic users of the English language. His speech, irregardless of the source, was every bit as lyrical as his playing!

-----

Harold_Z

Member

Member # 1142

posted May 06, 2001 04:42 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah..He did call his fingers his people.

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted May 08, 2001 02:04 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To all members:

I found "live" early Basie band relaxed, and they swung harder than on some official records. Despite bad sound quality of air shots, I must say that the solos are particularly longer than on regular records (there is no 3 1/2 minute limit), and that is good, everybody has his space to express himself.

I do not own much of this radio broadcasts. But, from few of fine examples, my favorite Lesters solo is long improvisation on One O'Clock Jump, Nov. 3, 1937 (according to discographies it was broadcast from New Jersey). He took last notes of trombone solo (Dan Minor?, Eddie Durham?), and on that short phrase he builds whole solo, so fluid, clean and beautiful as any other great record of Pres.

Also, great sound comes from June 30, 1937 (broadcast from Savoy Ballroom). "The Count Steps In" is fine, fast and precise.

From June 9, 1938, I have "Flat Foot Floogie". My father used to listen to this record, and since I was a kid, Youngs long accented notes with dissonant intervals grabs me into mental puzzle.

Which is your favorite one?

(Have they transferred all of the Basies remaining and survived broadcasts and unissued acetates?)

[This message has been edited by mmilovan (edited May 08, 2001).]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted June 18, 2001 02:04 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Harry Edison remembers the following incident from the band’s time at the Strand: "Basie wanted a production number and Jimmy Mundy did an arrangement on "I Struck A Match In The Dark", which Earl Warren was to sing. When the lights went out and Earl started, we were all supposed to strike a match and light up the stage. Well, Earl made his introduction, Prez struck a match, held his part up, and set fire to it! That was the end of that. He didn’t like Earl Warren’s singing, and he always imitated singers and made a comedy out of it".

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted June 18, 2001 02:08 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About relations with John Hammond:

"The real reasons for Lester’s departure will always remain obscure. Lester was a soloist, first and foremost and not a sideman. Basie was lauded to the skies by managers, press and radio people, while the rest of the band were treated almost as if they were extras. Lester also frequently contributed ideas for arrangements or themes, but it was Basie’s name that appeared on the records and he collected the royalties, which was a normal way for bandleaders to make some extra money in those days. To get something out of it, Lester asked for a raise, which was refused and this is certainly one of the main reasons for the break. Gene Ramey, Lester’s lifelong friend recalls this episode: "It seems that Prez wanted 125 dollars, and he (John Hammond) told Basie that he wasn’t worth it or something like that. The way Prez used to tell me - as I said before, as close as Prez and I were, and I was the best man at his wedding and the father of his children there for a long time, he used to tell me these things".

Whatever happened Lester was really hurt at Hammond’s interfering since he always thought him to be a friend who had helped to put him, Basie and Billie Holiday, on the map. He avoided Hammond after that as much as possible, and didn’t rate him a friend anymore. Gene Ramey explains further: "Prez never got over it, and when the man would come down to Birdland, he’d sit down with a smile on his face. And Prez, rather than using curse words, he called everybody Tommy Tucker. And he said to Jo and I, he said ‘Lady Ramey and Lady Jones, Tommy Tucker is in the house’ "."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted June 18, 2001 05:59 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for bringing this thread up for air M. I listened today to some Savoy Pres, and I was supposed to be working. But "I Don't Have A Ghost of A Chance with You" came on and I just sat there and listened. . .for a long time.

Please. . .don't tell my boss!

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted June 19, 2001 01:29 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that this is the first time I've heard that Hammond story, and, if true, it reinforces something that's been nagging at me for a while, and something I mentioned earlier in this thread - the inaction on Hammond's part to do SOMETHING to better Lester's situation in the Army. Hammond came from a family that had "connections", and at the very least it seems that he could have influenced somebody to put Prez in an entertainment unit, rather than just lettting him suffer the "DB Blues". I tend to be cynical of many of the "Rooseveltian Liberals" of the time in terms of racial issues, because I saw so many of them go right when REAL integration began to happen and they had to deal with individuals rather than "causes". It's easy to champion a cause in the abstract and feel good about yourself - it's another to actually deal with reality. I have no doubt that John Hammond was "sincere" in his beliefs, and his contributions to the jazz legacy in terms of bringing significant talent to the general public is an indisputable matter of record. But this story, as well as the Army thing, is nothing to be proud of. Those who question Lester's "fatalistic" attitude would do well to consider if it in fact was more realistic than fatalistic.

----

philip

Member

Member # 405

posted June 19, 2001 01:52 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jim, you make completely valid points.

On the subject of Hammond it has always seemed strange that he failed to advise the apparently naive Basie to take care over contracts. The flat rate fee for the Decca sides, which did not cover the Bands costs, is a case in point here. The episode of Burns Jazz which covers the KC scene went out in the UK last night. Naturally, the series, being keen to avoid any hint of complexity and thus present Hammond as a hero, completely glossed over the subject

---

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted June 19, 2001 03:42 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do any of the "veterans" out there know what the odds would have been that Hammond would have offered Basie a substantially better deal than Decca if Decca had not signed him first?

A serious inquiry, not meant as innuendo.

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted June 19, 2001 06:53 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the odds are that he would have offered him a better deal. Nothing more solid than my gut telling me this though.

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted June 20, 2001 04:55 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lon,

I can recall the same episode with "Ghost of A Chance" (for Savoy, 1944 I Think). It was ten years ago (approx.), and I played my old vinyl about 200 times. Now, that vinyl is so damaged,

but, recently I bought CD copy (with alternate take). I thought then (and that is the same opinion now), it was greatest music in the world.

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted June 20, 2001 08:36 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lester on "Ghost of a Chance?" Yes. I can agree that it really doesn't get any better than that.

I am particularly attached to one of the versions that was taped at Birdland around 1948-49.

--------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted June 23, 2001 01:00 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is beautiful version of the same thing also from Birdland, May 19th, 1951 with John Lewis, Gene Ramey, and Papa Jo.

--------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted June 23, 2001 04:15 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Speaking of the Jo Jones-Lester synergy (we were, weren't we? ), for years now it has amazed me how jazz historians have overlooked the Basie Columbia session of 3-19-40. On "Let's Make Hay..." and "I Never Knew", there are 8 bar sections where, behind Lester's solo, Jo switches to ride cymbal and plays the 4-to-the-bar bass drum so softly that it's not really heard, if he in fact IS playing it. I know there are air shots where he does this, but to me, this is the "official" beginning of "modern" drumming, and the first recorded documentation of the "bop" group dynamic. I think it is significant that Jo does this behind Lester, because the lighter sound and "beat" of what he plays fully brings out the floating aspects of Prez' playing which so influenced Bird (and everybody since!). To me, the impact of these 8 bar segments is as great a leap forward, a glimpse of the soon-to-be future, as Bird's solos w/McShann, especially "Let's Make Hay", where for 8 bars you hear Lester's tenor swinging like mad over and around the beat without ever directly engaging it, Page's bass walking away, Jo Jones riding the cymbal w/an all but inaudible bass drum and an occasional snare punctuation, and Basie doing a sparse but effective comp. A remarkably prophetic moment in recorded jazz that to my knowledge has gone unremarked upon.

------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted June 23, 2001 08:01 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good point JSngry! Let me remind you what Pres said about Papa Jo Jones:

"Jo Jones came into the (Basie's band) band after I did. I've always liked his drumming. He did a lot of things then that the modern drummers do now."

(It is an interview w. Pres from 1950's)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted June 24, 2001 12:56 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I sit and listen to Disc 6 of the Verve box I noticed something that somehow I never noticed or don't remeber noticing in the booklit.

There is a picture on page 82 with Pres and Stan Getz and Getz has this look of complete awe and joy to be standing there talking to his idol.

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted June 24, 2001 01:19 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jo & Lester.

Next millenium's newspaper delivered to your doorstep 60 FREAKIN' YEARS AGO!!!

If "the world" still ain't figured THAT out yet...

-------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted June 24, 2001 02:46 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, the trouble it is...

Lester's linear horizontal phrasing, with no curves or arabesques, which can be found even in Bird's playing (and that is Hawkins/Hodges heritage) will amaze me as long as I live!

JSngry,

"I Never Knew" has Jones switching from "new" to "old" school, so audibly heard straight after Pres' solo!

Mnytime,

according to Getz bio, he broke up with Kenton's band after boss said something wrong about his idol.

I read somewhere one episode about Pres which Getz remembered. Taking his nap in a back seat of a bus carrying him to another gig, hearing colleague's "hot licks", which were played in a way to show off, asked - what was his opinion to what's been played, Lester said to them: It's OK, Lady, but can you SING me a song?"

lpogost

Member

Member # 1826

posted July 01, 2001 12:31 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAP...item=1442328351

this is a rarity

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted July 01, 2001 04:44 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You are certainly right about that Len. Can't hit that buy it now myself, but I would be sorely tempted if I were just a bit more flush!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted July 01, 2001 10:29 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

drool.....

------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted July 03, 2001 04:04 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are part of the liner notes Savoy MG 12071 reprinted for CD Savoy SV-0113 (it was written after 1949; exact date and author is not known):

"HE SWINGS!

A recent evening spent at the New York Jazz Festival on Randall's Island proves this. At 12:30 Midnite, after 5 hours of music and in an outdoor concert where the temperature had dropped abnormally to below 60 degrees on an August night, Lester Young walked out in front of Basie's band for a reunion in front of 25000 frigid fans and brought everyone to his feet screaming, crowding the bandstand, demanding encore after encore! This to me, is having "the master's touch".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted July 03, 2001 10:20 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have never heard of this box. Can anyone tell me anything about it?

What kind of remastering and does anyone know what it sounds like?

From the picture it looks like an elaborate box set and not like one of those thrown together things.

Damn I am highly tempted.

What records are found on it? I would not want to get something I already have in other CD's if I where to bite the apple so to speak.

The only Sound Hills record I have ever seen, which I have is Cecil's Iwontunwonsi-Live At Sweet Basil Vol. 1

While I am at it there is supposed to be a Vol 2 of this Cecil recording has anyone seen it and where can I find it?

Does anyone know if Sound Hills has an online site and what it is?

Just remembered David Murray has a live recording called Live '93 Acoustic OctFunk as well on Sound Hills.

[This message has been edited by Mnytime (edited July 03, 2001).]

lpogost

Member

Member # 1826

posted July 04, 2001 04:40 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

almost all the recordings that are on the lester box are listed at http://www.welwyn11.freeserve.co.uk/LY_frameset.htm

under the heading:

Small Groups Live Recordings

soundhills in japan released only three box sets, all in 1993. lester, billie holiday, and charlie parker. 500 of each.

the parker box is a copy of the parker 22 lp set from italy.

[This message has been edited by lpogost (edited July 04, 2001).]

-----

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted July 04, 2001 11:17 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by lpogost:

almost all the recordings that are on the lester box are listed at http://www.welwyn11.freeserve.co.uk/LY_frameset.htm

under the heading:

Small Groups Live Recordings

soundhills in japan released only three box sets, all in 1993. lester, billie holiday, and charlie parker. 500 of each.

the parker box is a copy of the parker 22 lp set from italy.

[This message has been edited by lpogost (edited July 04, 2001).]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the info looking at that site I would say I have most if not all of what makes up that box.

---------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted July 05, 2001 01:55 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To all:

What session/solo/recording or live date turn your ears to this giant?

--------------------

Lon Armstrong

Member

Member # 137

posted July 05, 2001 02:01 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What got me was some Basie Columbia lps from years back. . . I would play them. . .I hadn't yet learned to fully appreciate the whole orchestra, but Lester Leaped out of these and grabbed my attention.

Listening to Billie Holiday's Columbia sides got me interested further in this different side of Pres (for the most part).

Then when I started to listen to Charlie Parker and really "get him" I kept reading about how important Lester was to that giant's beginnings. . . and I started to look for Pres stuff to hear. I found some of the Savoys, and the "Pres Conferences" cd when it was fresh on the racks. . . and I was a gonner! I then gnabbed all the volumes of the Blue Moon small group series and have been grabbing anything and everything else since then.

One of my favorites: the Una Mae Carlisle session. Don't know why. . .Una Mae just seems so sexy to me, and this band is having so much fun and Lester is in his element. When I first heard that I knew it was going to be played over and over and over. "Blitzkreig Baby" indeed!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JSngry

Member

Member # 1611

posted July 05, 2001 02:52 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For me it was hearing that gorgeous Bill Perkins solo on "Almost Like Being In Love" from that Pacific Jazz "Two Degrees East..." album that got me intoxicated by the concept. I heard that before I actually heard Lester.

I was 14 or 15 then, and where I lived, I was pretty much dependent on the cut-out bins to find jazz records. Fortunately, there was a nearby department store that was a treasure-trove! There I found a Charlie Parker label album of live Prez that had an incredible version of "I Cover The Waterfront".

I was really hooked by then, but what sealed the deal once and for all was getting the Smithsonian set when it first came out and getting hit w/the one-two punch of "Doggin' Around" & "Taxi War Dance". THAT knocked me for a loop that I've yet to recover from!

-----------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted July 09, 2001 05:59 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey folks,

just found this link to Pres photos: http://www.jazzpix.com/Artist_Listi...ng_feature.html

The last one picture is so sad (that one in lower right corner)...

http://www.jazzpix.com/Artist_Listi...g_58070526.html

They say there that...

"Our current Featured Artist is Lester Young"

[This message has been edited by mmilovan (edited July 09, 2001).]

Mnytime

Member

Member # 1077

posted July 09, 2001 10:41 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Complete Basie on Decca Recs. after listening to that I wanted more with Pres and with every new purchase I wanted more to the point I want to get his whole output if I can.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted July 09, 2001 11:40 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pres is probably my all-time favorite jazz artist. But it took me about a year listening to him before it really clicked.

I had just gotten interested in jazz in the early-mid 70s and was listening to a lot of Coltrane. Then I read "Blues People" and decided to check out the two sources of jazz saxophone: Bean and Pres. Bean I took to right away. My first Pres purchase was a Verve 2-record set: Pres, Teddy, and Oscar. I love that music now, but I didn't take to it back then.

About a year later, Columbia began their reissue series: The Lester Young Story. I picked up volume 1 out of interest when it was released, not really expecting much. That music was a bit strange for me too because I hadn't started listening to big band or swing yet. But it was the tracks with Billie Holiday that did it: I Must Have that Man, Without Your Love, Easy Living, etc. I fell in love with that music right away and hooked up with Pres in the process.

------------------

JazzLiberator

Member

Member # 1934

posted July 12, 2001 06:25 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

up

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted July 15, 2001 05:11 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've read this recently:

"As Lester Young was nearing death, living alone in a Manhattan hotel room, he was visited by Charles Mingus. The two jazz legends peered out a window and watched saxophonist Stan Getz pull away in a nice new automobile. Young griped to the younger Mingus, "There's a guy who's driving a Cadillac on money from the way I play." A few days after Young's death, bassist Mingus composed one of his best pieces, "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," a tribute to the fallen tenor saxophonist and his signature apparel."

Any comments?

--------------

John L

Member

Member # 123

posted September 10, 2001 04:08 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EXTRA: NEW LESTER YOUNG HITS THE MARKET!!

Lester Young: Masters of Jazz volume 10 has just been released. This disk consists of all know Lester Young broadcasts with JATP from April 22 through June 17. I had some of this material on LP and a couple tracks on obscure CDs. But a lot of it is completely new to me! The first part consists of blowouts with Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, and Buck Clayton. (This is all different from the Pres/Hawk concert on Pres Conferences, which was included on Lester Young volume 9.) A second part consists of Pres leading various quartets, quintets, and sextets.

I've heard it once and LOVE it!

------------

Di

Member

Member # 590

posted September 10, 2001 06:20 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the news John! I think I'll start with Vol. 10 and work my way back!

Masters of Jazz is coming back to life it appears....I was beginning to wonder whether they had gone out of business.

Worlds Records has shipped me some long backordered discs from these people so apparently the catalog is happening again.

-----------

mmilovan

Member

Member # 1357

posted September 10, 2001 11:55 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John,

I imagine, you are lucky man, to have all that Pres live JATP's. Some of them which I heard, was the greatest Pres performances (my favorite one is from 1946 "Lady Be Good", and from 1949 "Embraceable You")

Anybody knows something about audio version of Lester's blindfold test with Leonard Feather? It might have been third audio record of his voice and his thoughts about music in general.

-------

That's all folks - please continue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for bringing this thread here, ubu!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, EKE. I will need some time to read through it myself (I read it over at AAJ some months ago, but bad memory forces me to do again).

I got much Lester discs, thanks to our big Prez-expert ( :tup ) and thought we could have some discussion again, here.

ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, the discussion on Prez continued at AAJ:

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

The most amazing thing with Lester was that he behaved as he played. He was eccentric - his music certainly was (in some very paticular points); he was soft and nice person - his music was, too; he was man with so much intelligence, his music was unique and has deep structural quality... I must think of the other musicians that were, so to say, transparent...

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-17-2003 04:09 PM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 525

I think Wild Bill Davison might be described as transparent in a

musical way - also Henry Red Allen, although Henry was more

introverted off stage from what I've heard and read.His outgoing

style was all show when doing business, but a genuine nice guy

as far as I can tell.

Not perhaps similar to Lester

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-17-2003 09:02 PM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

John -

Really, I don't know who started that trash about Pres playing and his inability to play as he played during the C.B. days.

Anytime someone asks me about that nonexistible characteristic, I answer them shortly: Even Bird or Trane played bad, with stereotypes and clichés.

One have to remember that Pres was highly sensitive as a person - all that drinking problems and drugs left impact (to whom will not?) to Lester's production of tone and breath, and, sometimes, on his palm or finger movements, but... but there is at least one studio session where it seems that master was drunk to death (1955 with Sweets Edison and Peterson), still he produced some of the most touching improvisations in jazz anytime ("That's All", "Talk Of The Town"...).

On the other hand there are various occasions (recently, I've heard some recordings from around 1951-52, that somebody gave me years ago) he produced such quality music that can reach his youth creations...

...pardon, that can reach the stars.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-22-2003 03:07 PM

John L

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Washington DC

Posts: 106

Milan: On the one hand, I do understand why some people are a bit dismissive of Pres' later recordings. Pres made his name playing with a crisply articulated smooth-as-silk light tone that seemed to float on air over the chords and rhythm. In the 40s, his tone became heavier and his attack more aggressive. In the 50s, physical frailty added a quiver to his tone and sometimes interfered with the fluency of his playing. Combine that with alcoholism and growing evidence of physical and mental ailments, and a very coherent story of "artistic decline" emerges.

The problem is that the story is wrong, or at least it is very superficial. I think it is amazing the degree to which the careers of Pres and Billie Holiday paralleled each other. Billie's voice changed in somewhat the same way as Lester's voice on the sax. But both Billie and Lester continued to make supreme art to the end. What they were doing later in their careers was not just a pale imitation of what they did earlier. It was something very different, something that they couldn't have done in their youth even if they wanted to.

One might state a personal preference for earlier Pres or Billie, but there is no denying the greatness of what they did later as well.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-22-2003 04:25 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 655

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by John L

One might state a personal preference for earlier Pres or Billie, but there is no denying the greatness of what they did later as well.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Possibly, but sometimes I think people are a bit blinded by the legend, and unwilling to say negative things about the stars...these two in particular.

there is very little " great" about the " Laughin' to Keep from Crying" session other than the cover photo and the work of Sweets and Little Jazz to bolster Pres.

The album title is quite appropriate.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-22-2003 05:09 PM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

PDEE

Yes, right,

but,

to be honest, how many for an example members of this board, would even try to discuss "hard moments (to put this in smooth way) in a life of... (here you can add any NAME)" ?

We are usually moved by an artists, they give us a pleasure...

Why Pres and Billie fits out of this rules of talking?

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-22-2003 07:05 PM

David Gitin

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Monterey,California

Posts: 469

I agree with PDEE on JAZZ GIANTS '56 being a better album than is generally acknowledged.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-22-2003 07:10 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 655

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

PDEE

Yes, right,

but,

to be honest, how many for an example members of this board, would even try to discuss "hard moments (to put this in smooth way) in a life of... (here you can add any NAME)" ?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think many posters here, and on the BNBB are quite willing to make negative reviews / comments on recordings which they think deserve it.. about any artist. My comments weren't that Pres was drunk, or ill.. just that its a poor session and difficult to listen to.. if you are familiar with, and a devotee of Pres' finer moments.

I think the mention of the health problems etc. are simply a way to make allowances for what is a lesser performance than expected.

Possibly if the star hadn't been so big, the records might never have been issued.

I think the same is true of Billie.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-23-2003 12:23 AM

John L

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Washington DC

Posts: 106

PDEE: Certainly, many of us can agree that the later careers of Billie and Lester had downs as well as ups. Buck Clayton recalls Granz recording Lester when he couldn't even stand up. Maybe that was the "Laughin' to Keep From Crying" date. That is my least favorite Lester Young album, although I would say that there are still some scattered nice moments. Much more worthwhile, in my opinion, is the preceeding album, "Goin' For Myself," if only for the beautiful reading of "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me." Sure, the performance contains its share of flaws, as was the case for almost all post-56 Young. But it succeeds as a whole at a deeper artistic level (IMO).

Then, if we go back one more year to 1956, we have a trreasure chest of great Lester Young on record.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-23-2003 04:45 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

John L

Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Washington DC

Posts: 95

PDEE: Certainly, many of us can agree that the later careers of Billie and Lester had downs as well as ups. Buck Clayton recalls Granz recording Lester when he couldn't even stand up. Maybe that was the "Laughin' to Keep From Crying" date. That is my least favorite Lester Young album, although I would say that there are still some scattered nice moments. Much more worthwhile, in my opinion, is the preceeding album, "Goin' For Myself," if only for the beautiful reading of "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me." Sure, the performance contains its share of flaws, as was the case for almost all post-56 Young. But it succeeds as a whole at a deeper artistic level (IMO).

Then, if we go back one more year to 1956, we have a trreasure chest of great Lester Young on record.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

04-23-2003 01:45 PM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 391

UP because it's Lester time -no excuses

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

05-25-2003 08:46 PM

EKE BBB

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Madrid, Spain

Posts: 443

Peter:

Of course, it´s always Prez time!

A few photos for the nostalgia:

[Portrait of Lester Young, Famous Door, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946].

[Portrait of Lester Young, Spotlite (Club), New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946].

And finally, look where mmilovan took his avatar from:

[Portrait of Jay Higginbotham, Pete Johnson, Henry Allen, and Lester Young, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., ca. 1940].

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

05-25-2003 09:16 PM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 391

Ah one of my other favourites Henry Red

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

05-25-2003 09:22 PM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 391

Just noticed the last picture is taken in Washington - I'm listening

to Lester In Washington Vol. 2

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

05-25-2003 09:26 PM

EKE BBB

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Madrid, Spain

Posts: 443

A couple of weeks ago I bought The complete 1936-1951 small group sessions. Studio recordings. Vol.1&2: Two low-priced box-sets of 4 CD each, released by Blue Moon, with all the studio recordings made by Prez in the small band format in those years, except for the Billie Holiday sessions and recordings of performances made in public.

Volume 1 condenses master takes from 1936 to 1949.

Volume 2 includes master takes from 1949 to 1951 and all the alternate takes.

185 marvellous performances. You never get tired of listening to Prez. His melodic fluency, his smooth tone, his phrasing...

Of course, much duplication with all that I had, but it´s worth to complete: sides with Una Mae Carlisle, Sammy Price, Helen Humes, Dickie Wells...

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

06-02-2003 11:04 PM

mmilovan

Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 76

The "problem" with Lester (if there is any) is false applying "bad moments" to whole postwar Pres career. I think the critic could wrote that crap with no further explanations and going deeper into the thing. Leonard Feather said that on liner notes of reissue of Aladdin sessions (although he announced Pres - "The Greatest Tenor Saxophonist Ever" in 1956.) - "It was not long after these Aladdin sessions that real disintegration of Lester Young became disconcertingly evident, physically and artistically".

To be honest - first sign of Lester's health problems became evident in 1955 - session with Peterson, Sweets Edison and others. Till then he CONSTANTLY produced wonderful miracles (if doubt any, please listen to Pres on some rare live occasion around 1953. - JATP TV Live - and his playing on "Lover" - tune he never played before or after - where he did it so well that my jaw dropped down to the floor)!

Yes, I said miracles.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-02-2003 09:40 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 654

Certainly later ib life, Pres had his ups ' downs ...musically and no doubt in Life in general, but the highs were first class... The Jazz Giants 56 / Teddy Wilson 's on Verve. Bill Pott's recordings from Olivia's lounge.. all excellent Pres. Perhaps different to his earlier days.. but which musician hasn't changed with the passage of time.

MMilovan is correct in pointing out that trashing all his post 50's recordings is unfair. It could be that his early career when with Basie and the small groups that came from it produced a consistently high level of performance. It is irrational to think we can also always operate at our peak levels, especially as we age.

If not there wouldn't be a girl down at the local bar that would ever forget my performance tonight...

Ah but once I could really Tickle Toes.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-03-2003 12:08 AM

mmilovan

Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 76

Good point PDEE!

As with jazz music, it is the same with books: to get a whole picture, you must hear the complete performances (if you wish so)/read complete issues of certain books by some author, believe in your ears, and do not trust what critic say.

It is more objective way, and you're dealin' with something unique.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-03-2003 02:35 AM

John L

Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Washington DC

Posts: 95

Yes, and Lester Young was the personification of "uniqueness."

There have been many, many imitators, mabye as many Pres imitators as Bird imitators. But there never will be a true substitute for what I consider to be the greatest pleasure in jazz: Lester Willis Young.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-03-2003 07:43 AM

Lonson

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 217

Isn't it appropriate that one of the last recordings I know of his contains the song "There Will Never Be Another You"!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-03-2003 03:37 PM

mmilovan

Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 76

Well, I can not really say what period I like the most - early, middle or late career period. Sometimes, I like to listen to the clarity and flexible approach of his early days, the other day I like to feel the pain embedded in his post 1956. appearances.

But, the most important thing could be his live postwar recordings. Anybody know are they researched in some systematic way (I've heard about Frank Buchmann-Moller book, but I've heard nothing about it except one opinion that qualifies "as boring to death" (sic!)

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-03-2003 08:51 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 654

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

Well,

But, the most important thing could be his live postwar recordings. Anybody know are they researched in some systematic way (I've heard about Frank Buchmann-Moller book, but I've heard nothing about it except one opinion that qualifies "as boring to death" (sic!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Actually there are Two Books by Moller

You Just Fight For Your Life... which is a biography of Pres. At the time there were very few books devoted solely to Pres, so I didn't find it boring. Haven't revisted in a long time , so since the Daniels book.

The other

You Gotta be Original Man

is a chronological look at Pres' solos.. just about all of them ( I'm sure he might have missed a date here and there. It includes lots of transcription.. many whole solos..

So yes it can be boring to those who don't like alternate takes.. the book talks about them all

I find it fascinating.. even though I don't always agree with the viewpoint.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-03-2003 11:29 PM

mmilovan

Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 76

PDEE,

are postwar live broadcasts included in the book?

I've noticed on the other hand that glorious Pres sessions with John Lewis, Jo Jones and Gene Ramey (actually two sessions from Jan. and March 1951) for Verve are pretty rare mentioned - although they produced some of the most important music beside sides with Peterson 1952 and Wilson in 1956.

The take I like so much is "Slow Motion Blues" from March 1951.

Great 3 blues coruses made so nice, that left you in a thought what Pres learned from King Oliver. Nicest blues side ever made, IMO!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-04-2003 08:13 AM

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 12:08 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

lazy bird

Senior Member

Registered: Dec 2002

Location: Belgium

Posts: 294

I'm looking after Lester Young galleries.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-04-2003 10:34 AM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location:

Posts: 749

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

PDEE,

are postwar live broadcasts included in the book?

I've noticed on the other hand that glorious Pres sessions with John Lewis, Jo Jones and Gene Ramey (actually two sessions from Jan. and March 1951) for Verve are pretty rare mentioned - although they produced some of the most important music beside sides with Peterson 1952 and Wilson in 1956.

The take I like so much is "Slow Motion Blues" from March 1951.

Great 3 blues coruses made so nice, that left you in a thought what Pres learned from King Oliver. Nicest blues side ever made, IMO!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes the whole is chronologically arranged, broadcasts included.. the sessions are numbered, a total of 254 sets ( some are only one tune.. odball broadcasts)

Slo Motion is there. It is one of the many tunes that carry a transcription.. if you are interested I colud scan it and try to send it to you via email,

Note this is not an open offer to all and sundry... don't want to spend the rest of my life in front of the computer

A quick count shows about 450 different song titles.. now thats hundreds.. I just got off the Beatles threads... many rcorded more than once by Pres, but thats 450 titles which feature sonme solo involvement be it 4 bars or three or four choruses.

AS I said above, might be a boring read, but i's a fascinating, and to me valuable reference document of an important Jazz Musician

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-04-2003 05:48 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by PDEE

Slo Motion is there. It is one of the many tunes that carry a transcription.. if you are interested I colud scan it and try to send it to you via email,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PDEE, thanks a lot...

According to yours description, these are two valuable and hard researched books.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-06-2003 01:15 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

Just a few searches through e bay and I found something that I do not find in usual disography:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...;category=43690 (Bird with Pres from 1950, live???)

and this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...p;category=2266

JATP, 1950, promotional material...

Never heard about those two.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-19-2003 10:25 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location:

Posts: 749

Pres and Bird only seemed to play together withJATP

Looking at the track listing of the Ebay CP record it looks like a comp of tracks from other CP Lps. I don't think they play together

''Happy Bird Blues is, for example from the Happy Bird Lp.. with Wardell on tenor

Destination Moon was on a CP Lester Young LP.

This is one of those mis leading LP covers.. of which CP records did a lot

and the sellers description does nothing to enlighten, unenlightened buyers.

The other one is probably the date from DEC 11 1952

both titles were recorded at that date with that personnel

they are tracks 10 and 15 0n disc 3 ot the verve Pres box

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-19-2003 11:58 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

Charlie Parker Label often covered live (bootleg) material.

I've just consulted Lewis Porter's book - live material from Savoy Ballroom (February 22, 1950) is on Charlie Parker PLP 402, CP 504, PLP 405 - but, as Porter said: "It appears that these titles derive from more than one night").

Porter also put these discographical informations: "Sept. 16, 1950. NYC, Concert Carnegie Hall, the titles are: "Norgran Blues, Lady be Good , A Ghost of a Chance, Indiana".

On BNBB board someone (JSngry???) said that live playing from this particular (Savoy Ballroom date) are some of the best Lester ever - maybe, I don't know.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-20-2003 03:15 PM

Oldtimer

Member

Registered: Jul 2003

Location: Northeastern US

Posts: 45

I am a long time Lester Young fan and, in addition to a number of other albums, I recently acquired the 4CD Box Set issued by Proper Records of England that contains 84 tracks by Pres from 1936 to 1949. Included also is a 51 page booklet with pictures, biographyand liner notes. As with many of these sets from England, the sound is quite good. The last few selections are from Lester's JATP concert at Carnegie Hall, September 18, 1949 where he plays with Charlie Parker, Flip Phllips, Roy Eldrige, Hank Jones, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich.

Besides his earlier Basie and Teddy Wilson/Billie Holiday recordings - many of which are also included in the Proper Box set, my favorite albums are:

The 1945 Sessions with Buddy Rich and Nat King Cole. This album has many nostalgic memories for me. It was my first introduction to the genius of Lester Young back in the late 40's and, over the years, I have probably listened to it countless times.

The 1952 Sessions with Barney Kessel and the Oscar Peterson Trio. Again, one of my early favorites.

The Best of Lester Young from Pablo Records.

Pres Meets Teddy, 1956 sessions. IMHO Even though his tone is darker than earlier in his career, Pres still sounds magnificent in these recordings.

In the earlier thread, mention was made of the influence of Tram on Pres. Recently I came across this pertinent passage in a History of Jazz by Donald Clarke:

"Inspired by the pretty sound and thoughtful craftmanship of Frankie Trumbauer on C-melody saxophone, Young's style was lyrical and linear; he said that in a ballad he liked to keep the words of the song in mind. He had a unique tone without much vibrato, and played at the high end of the instrument's range, sometimes sounding like an alto instead of a tenor. His swing was incomparable, and he became one of the most influential musicians of the century.....a lighter alternative to the big-toned chromatic Coleman Hawkins style of tenor saxophone which was then popular."

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-21-2003 02:11 AM

clifton

Senior Member

Registered: Oct 2002

Location: Clifton Hts., Pa

Posts: 378

Probably the best news for Pres fans is the imminent Columbia 4-CD Basie set. It will include such great performances as "Easy Does It", "I Never Knew", and the 1936 Jones-Smith Inc. session, which was Lester's first appearance on record. For late Pres, I recommend "Giants Of Jazz 1956" on Verve, which includes Vic Dickenson and Roy Eldridge. Also I'm pretty sure the sessions from Olivia Davis' Patio Lounge in 1956 are available on CD, either on Verve or Pablo.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-21-2003 02:26 AM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location:

Posts: 749

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

Charlie Parker Label often covered live (bootleg) material.

Porter also put these discographical informations: "Sept. 16, 1950. NYC, Concert Carnegie Hall, the titles are: "Norgran Blues, Lady be Good , A Ghost of a Chance, Indiana".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's true that most of the Lester Young on the CP label was from broadcasts / live dates.. generally not well recorded. I don't quite follow where you are going with this. Lady Be Good is not on the CP Lp.. it's on a Norgran 78, coupled with Can't We be Friends.. both were recorded at the date I listed above, so I doubt very much that this 78 is from anywhere but the recording studio.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-21-2003 04:16 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

PDEE,

probably, I wasn't so explicit while getting these informations here. My intention was to clear that there were CP label that issued live 1950 date from Savoy.

The other thing is the second sentence - I tried to clear 78's that I found on auction on ebay - so I thought it might belong to live date mentioned in my post.

But I was quite unsuccessful in doing this, so my apologies.

Oldtimer, PDEE, clifton, others...

(this is something new)

Speaking of 1946 Nat Cole date issued on Verve 521 650-2, that I have, I do not really know why authors of reissue put the same "Back To The Land" twice (one version is slightly different from another at the beginning, that was edited out on second take).

Cafe Bohemia dates is as good as Olivia Davis' Patio Lounge date. The same thing with misunderstanding discography here - something was put together, edited and etc. One can probably spend hours of putting thing straight.

I've heard (rumors, probably) about alternates of Johnes/Smith date. I know that only Shoe Shine Boy/Swing exists in that form.

Maybe, Columbia/Legacy knows it better.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-21-2003 07:09 PM

clifton

Senior Member

Registered: Oct 2002

Location: Clifton Hts., Pa

Posts: 378

There was a 1946 JATP concert that came out on vinyl as "Early Modern", issued on Milestone. I know Pres and Bird were on it, but I never bought it so I don't know if they played together on any of the tracks. Has it ever appeared on CD?

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-22-2003 03:17 AM

Oldtimer

Member

Registered: Jul 2003

Location: Northeastern US

Posts: 45

Clifton

I don't know about the 1946 JATP sessions with Pres and Bird. But I was just listening to two tracks from Pres' September 18, 1949 JATP concert with Charlie Parker, Roy Eldrige, Flip Phillips, Hank Jones, Tommy Turk, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich. The first is a 12 1/2 minute version of "Lester Leaps In" that is so hot I thought my speakers would start smoking. The second track is a wonderful contrast - a 10 1/2 minute hauntingly beautiful rendition of "Embraceable You" where Eldrige, Pres, and Bird take extended solos and demonstrate their marvelous lyrical style in one of my all-time favorite ballads. According to the liner notes, I think these tracks were first issued on the Mercury label.

These tracks are included in the 85 track Proper 4CD box set I mentioned above and are worth the $25 price of the entire set, which includes many of his Teddy Wilson/Billie Holiday and Count Basie classics - plus Pres's sessions with Nat Cole and Buddy Rich. The remastered sound, in general, is superb.

BTW I want to sincerely thank you for directing me here where discussions are much more peaceful and jazz oriented.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-22-2003 05:59 AM

clifton

Senior Member

Registered: Oct 2002

Location: Clifton Hts., Pa

Posts: 378

Oldtimer: good to talk to you again. I have the 1949 JATP Carnegie Hall Concert on vinyl, and I agree. On "Lester Leaps In", Pres really lets it rip, sounds like he's inventing r&b tenor sax. BTW dchisholm set up a new jazz forum at yahoo.com specifically for Jazz Times refugees, designed to exclude the Two Stooges. I e-mailed him and he'll let me know the web address. I had announced I was going to create a blog (Clifton's Corner or some dumb thing) but dc got something going first and it looks like we're all going to check it out.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-22-2003 07:41 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

Olditemer, clifton,

"The Complete JATP on Verve 1944-49" contains famous 1949. concert, one of my favorite, not because of the Bird and Little Jazz (whom I admire, also very much), but for the Pres that played so nice, that you ever have to imagine. His solo on "Embraceable You" is a masterpiece of his early, middle, later career, no matter; I think he never played that tune ever again, and BEFORE, yet he did something that is the hardest task - a complete, self contained, controlled by any means, deep emotional improvisation/composition. Listen close to it - it contains the moment of micro architecture, motives that are played in variations, one note of repetition Pres particularly like; spiritual force of his vision of "Embraceable" is so strong, and even Bird later did not diminished it. But, putting these two giants together and compared theirs approach, you can see different styles - Bird is furious and wants to show his technical skills on this one, while Lester is much more cooled down. His choice of notes is careful, but slow rhythm of them (no fast triplets and virtuoso passages) adds dramatic involvement of emotions, you must think of something sublime that leads you right down to express that emotions, to cry, to yell...

There will never be another (embraceable) you.

This concert we can, without any bothering, add to array of the most important jazz recordings of all time.

...

clifton, 1946. JATP date can be the issued on the above mentioned JATP set as well, if it is not something else.

For the "invention" of r&b, as well as free jazz, you can listen to "The Closer" from the same 1949. date.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

07-22-2003 07:44 AM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 444

I was listening to Gil Evans Out Of The Cool earlier today which I've

enjoyed for many years along with much more of Gil's work.Whenever

I listen to Gil's stuff from this period I always find myself trying to

imagine how Gil would have used Lester/ how Lester would have sounded in a similar setting. It may be a pointless exercise trying to

imagine all these scenarios but I doubt that I'm the only Lester fan to

wonder what the combination could have produced.Would Lester have

been interested, or was he musically content rather than ready for a

challenge?

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-01-2003 06:39 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

Peter,

you are on the right track shall I say!!!

I don't know if I discused this one at the BNBB or here, but I think there were strong connections (stronger than anyone could imagine) between West Coast jazz scene, Gill Evans and the likes and "Birth of the Cool". Because, Gill Evans and Pres were close friends, and according to sources, Evans (not only him, but Billy Strayhorn and Nat King Cole) wrote arrangements for Lee & Lester Young's band.

So, the main thing about West Coast was, why musicians from that area were so influenced by Lester - why by him? Because, L & LYB was quite popular band, terrific in LA during 1942-44, and, naturally people picked up that sound - sound of his sax, relaxed but with strong swing. Evans, surely, later, developed ideas and perhaps, was also influenced by Pres' cool sound, and of course did what he did for Miles. Lester work was real birth of the cool - and that is not fantasy.

These are only observations, maybe wrong ones - I would be happy if I can see some elaborations - if there any can see connections.

But, to support yours thinking - Gill and Lester - yeah, what sound that could be, but it never happened! And, for no reason at all - they dig each other quite a lot!

Pity!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-01-2003 07:16 PM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 444

I always loved Lester's nickname for Miles - Midget!

Only Lester could get away with it!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-01-2003 07:30 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

How many people (I didn't have a chance) listened to live recordings with Pres and Miles played together on a European tour (there are plenty of them, but, according to discographies, only few has been issued) 1956. It was the period Miles recorded his important sessions with Trane, but for tour he has Pres behind him.

Sounds interesting...

BTW, I didn't know about that story you told.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-01-2003 08:22 PM

John L

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Washington DC

Posts: 105

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

How many people (I didn't have a chance) listened to live recordings with Pres and Miles played together on a European tour (there are plenty of them, but, according to discographies, only few has been issued) 1956. It was the period Miles recorded his important sessions with Trane, but for tour he has Pres behind him.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good question, Milan. I have a handful of tracks from that tour, but only 2 that Miles and Pres play on together:

1) "Lady Be Good" with the Rene Urtreger trio

2) "Lester Leaps in" with the MJQ and the Kurt Edelhangen Big Band.

The first track is pretty standard fare, nice but no fireworks. The second tracks is quite interesting and unusual. It builds up a pretty good head of behind Lester. Miles seems a bit detached.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-01-2003 10:39 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 114

John,

What amazing line: Pres, MJQ and Miles!

Seems like magic!

But noone recorded them in recording studio!

And what a loss, the same as with Gill Evans!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 12:10 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 173

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by lazy bird

I'm looking after Lester Young galleries.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

lazy bird,

Just to mention one good starting point:

http://mosaicgallery.com/

I will back with more links and online resources, because (as Lester Young's freak) I collected them for past two years, maybe even more.

The one that I can remember easily is collection of great musician in house with deformed mirrors. These shots have been taken around 1958.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-05-2003 07:39 PM

Saundra Hummer

Senior Member

Registered: Apr 2003

Location: West Coast

Posts: 465

Great Photo's and wow, the prices are still up there! Would be nice to have!

__________________

Sandi from Hermosa Beach

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-07-2003 02:46 AM

brownie

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: paris, france

Posts: 204

mmilovan, if you list Lester galleries, make sure you include this one (it's in French):

Lester in Paris

The photos were taken in Paris in 1956 by Daniel Filipacchi who was a jazzfan and a photographer at Paris-Match at the time. Filipacchi had a very successful career and later became the owner and publisher of Paris-Match.

About a Lester Young/Gil Evans link, weren't both stationed in the same unit during WWII when Lester went through his 'D.B. Blues' problems?

I'm sure I read that somewhere.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-10-2003 08:04 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 173

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by brownie

About a Lester Young/Gil Evans link, weren't both stationed in the same unit during WWII when Lester went through his 'D.B. Blues' problems?

I'm sure I read that somewhere.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course they were, but Gill was close friend with Lester for about three years before (L&LY band), according to sources and Evans' statements.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-10-2003 01:16 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 173

Those Filipacchi photos are great, I like that one with flute player (someone said it was Mezz Mezzrow) and with Pres in some cafe. These are rare photos of LY while not on bandstand, it is an illustration of his real life.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-10-2003 01:56 PM

EKE BBB

jazz seeker

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Madrid, Spain

Posts: 719

Some more links to Pres photos:

Club Kaycee

http://www.music123.com/Item/?itemno=83027

http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/verv...st.asp?aid=2708

http://www.jerryjazzmusician.com/ma...encounters.html

http://www.riverwalk.org/proglist/s...o/prez_lady.htm

http://www.nypl.org/research/sc/scl/giftxt.html

http://www.dcjazz.com/photo/lester.htm

http://airjudden.tripod.com/jazz/lesteryoung.html

Album covers (large size)

I guess mmilovan has most (if not all) of them

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-12-2003 10:35 AM

EKE BBB

jazz seeker

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Madrid, Spain

Posts: 719

Jamie Reid´s "Rhapsody: Lester´s sound" poem

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-12-2003 10:46 AM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 509

peter rh has attached this image:

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-15-2003 08:46 PM

peter rh

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: UK

Posts: 509

This quote from Lester Leaps In by Douglas Henry Daniels may or may

not be of interest to fans of Earle Warren's singing!

"For example, (Lester) Young disliked Earle Warren's singing; when the

alto saxophonist sang "Where Are You", the entire band backed him like

a "choral group", except for Young,who"would stand on tiptoe,(and)...

make out like he was singing very soulfully".The rest of the band would begin laughing while Warren continued singing,hating such antics.Behind

Young's comedy lay a serious purpose: to ridicule someone or something he didn't like to the point that that person or thing was removed from the show."

-------------------

Just in case anybody gets the wrong impression from this item,Lester

was considered to have a great sense of humour and Earle Warren is

amongst many fellow musicians who gave Lester high praise both as a

person and player.The Basie Band of the 30/40s also had a group of

senior musicians(incl. Lester) called the Vigilantes - this group took

the neccessary steps to sabotage items they didn't feel happy with!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-20-2003 07:17 PM

Munch

Member

Registered: Apr 2003

Location: Scotland

Posts: 96

peter rh,

Thanks for that superb Lester image. It now features on my desktop.

Earl Warren's singing made me wince, and it's not often I wince, except maybe when I used to play football and I would be caught by a full back or midfielder who were very adept at aiming kicks at the sorest of places.

Earl does almost reach some credibility however on two Jubilee Show tracks, but his efforts are instantly forgettable due to the Lester Young solo work and the Basie power on the other tracks.

Some talk here of Lester and R and B, he does boot it up some on a 1952 Jazz At The Philharmonic track, Jam Session Blues, and Barney Kessel gets some dirty riffs in as well.

I played some Pres JATP last night, and came across the 1953 Carnegie Hall, 'One O'Clock Jump', where there is a mix up and Pres is almost forgotten about. Charlie Shavers comes in for his solo before the finale and takes one chorus before realising Pres hasn't blown a note yet.

When he does wake up and enters the fray it is superb Pres, so much so that a member of the audience yells out loudly, "Yeah, Pres!"

The eight horns on this track are maybe the most ever on stage for a JATP jam session?

Also, (a bit of useless information), the track Cool Blues, but minus Pres, clocks in at 25 minutes.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-20-2003 08:43 PM

Saundra Hummer

Senior Member

Registered: Apr 2003

Location: West Coast

Posts: 465

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

Those Filipacchi photos are great, I like that one with flute player (someone said it was Mezz Mezzrow) and with Pres in some cafe. These are rare photos of LY while not on bandstand, it is an illustration of his real life.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do any of you know that Stan Levey who was the drummer at the Lighthouse, and who also played with Charlie Parker and other greats, is a photographer, and there just may be some photos by him of some of your favorites?

He has a web site, and is very responsive to jazz fans, and I would imagine that there just might be some little known favorite photo's of your favorite musicians that he could tell you about, or even some that he has taken himself. An all around good guy, drop him an email. He's on google, or his son is. Bob Levey.

__________________

Sandi from Hermosa Beach

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-20-2003 09:04 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 173

Peter,

nice anecdote with Warren (but that one with "Matches" was even greater)!

PDEE will like it!

Munch,

great points, and you certainly have rich collection - just to mention it would be great to have all these JATP's reissued, but I doubt it would be the case.

Speaking of Lester's R&B while listening JATP 1944-49 I've noticed that Lester always used typical tenor R&B devices such as screams, long and short repeated notes and licks as structural devices - not as effects! You can easily hear that if you compare Lester solos and let's say Flip's Philips! And that is why he is so great.

Small question for all: Anyone closer analyzed "Mean To Me" solo from Columbia Billie Holiday date? My intention is not to bring easy conclusions, but I can hear Charlie Parker double tempo leaps and rhythm organization on that particular take, especially at the beginning of second A and third 8 bars section (first chorus).

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-20-2003 09:53 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 173

I think that Earle Warren was very good sax section leader, despite his terrible singing. You can listen to any solo spot he has in OT Basie band and can hear good and capable solo work.

And he can double and play very well clarinet, with feeling and recognizable sound (that reminds me to PW Russell)!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-20-2003 10:05 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location:

Posts: 794

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

I think that Earle Warren was very good sax section leader, despite his terrible singing. You can listen to any solo spot he has in OT Basie band and can hear good and capable solo work.

And he can double and play very well clarinet, with feeling and recognizable sound (that reminds me to PW Russell)!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with this

not down on Earle for his non vocal participation in the Basie crew.

MEAN To ME...

Pres' solos on the diferent takes, are so different thatit persaued tme to buy the recent Columbia Holiday box.

Years ag I had the Holidays.. played so much that I knew the tracks, Mean to Me especially , off by heart.. then one day I'm listening and am toally thrown off from my "scat mumbling" by Pres' solo

I was really dissappointed that the Quintessential Columbias didn't contain alts. The Japanese version too expensive to justify replacement, but had to do it when the new Columbia box was released.

..all just for a chorus of Pres.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-20-2003 10:29 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 173

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by PDEE

MEAN To ME...

Years ag I had the Holidays.. played so much that I knew the tracks, Mean to Me especially , off by heart.. then one day I'm listening and am toally thrown off from my "scat mumbling" by Pres' solo

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You are not the only one who mumbles by heart this music gems.

To be more precise: in previous post I refered to master take of "Mean To Me!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-20-2003 10:59 PM

brownie

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: paris, france

Posts: 204

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Saundra Hummer

Do any of you know that Stan Levey who was the drummer at the Lighthouse, and who also played with Charlie Parker and other greats, is a photographer, and there just may be some photos by him of some of your favorites?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sandi, thanks for the tip. Will look for the Stan Levey photos. Loved the cover he shot of himself, Victor Feldman and Scott LaFaro for the Contemporary album 'The Arrival of Victor Feldman'.

The West Coast scene looked real happy at the time.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-21-2003 07:27 AM

Munch

Member

Registered: Apr 2003

Location: Scotland

Posts: 96

It's only fair that after praising the playing of Pres, and wincing somewhat about the singing of Earl Warren, that I right matters on my own thoughts about Earl's alto offerings.

I was pleasantly surprised the first time I saw him, away from the Basie band by this time, and part of a Jazz Package tour. He swung the joint on every solo, and his feature, the unlikely 'Secret Love', was torn apart and made respectable by alto playing at it's hottest.

I never got the chance to see him with Basie but his playing was, IMO, equally brilliant.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-21-2003 07:36 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 173

It is interesting to analyze how many great soloists had that OT Basie band! Another, little known was Jack Washington on baritone sax. Members of the band often used to emphasize how nice he was. If anyone interested one can hear him on various titles, and well-known small band session "Somebody Stole My Girl".

But all this is idea for separate thread!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-21-2003 07:50 PM

Munch

Member

Registered: Apr 2003

Location: Scotland

Posts: 96

Sandi,

Thanks for the info on Stan Levey. I will check it out soon.

I always check out the West Coast stuff, especially when Stan Levey or Shelly Manne are the drum chair occupants.

Stan Levey, if I recall, boxed as a heavyweight at one time?

Seems like there must be something about boxing, drumming, and tap dancing. Must be rhythm.

I can't dance much, I drummed at slow tempo, and was kayoed once by an Army cruiserweight who cheated, he hit me before the bell went!! But, I sure as hell got rhythm!!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-21-2003 07:58 PM

Saundra Hummer

Senior Member

Registered: Apr 2003

Location: West Coast

Posts: 465

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by Munch

Sandi,

Thanks for the info on Stan Levey. I will check it out soon.

I always check out the West Coast stuff, especially when Stan Levey or Shelly Manne are the drum chair occupants.

Stan Levey, if I recall, boxed as a heavyweight at one time?

Seems like there must be something about boxing, drumming, and tap dancing. Must be rhythm.

I can't dance much, I drummed at slow tempo, and was kayoed once by an Army cruiserweight who cheated, he hit me before the bell went!! But, I sure as hell got rhythm!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Munch and Brownie!

Stan was a boxer, and I remember how some of the patrons used to comment on how tough he looked, but you know, he was really a sweetheart. The best to be around, and I don't think there is anyone nicer. Never heard a mean word or saw a mean look ever come on his face.

He has two sons now, both of whom are doctors, isn't that great? Raised them by himself I believe. Saw the youngest one and held him when he was just a baby. A newborn really. I was worried about the music being too loud for him, so put some cotton that I had in his ears. That or a cocktail napkin, and I think it was cotton that I carried extra of to pad my foot. I had forgotten all about that, but this site is pulling up more and more of my old memories. Can't believe they are grown and as old as they are. So you see, time flies.

Stan retired from playing in 1973, like I had said earlier, and he says music has changed, and to my untrained ear it really has, not that it shouldn't, just natural for it to, I just never get tired of listening to the "Old Jazz," so I will probably never hear enough of the new to really appreciate it.

Good luck finding pictures, hope Stan has something you will want. I would love to sit down and talk to him again, and hear some of the funny stories I know he has to tell.

__________________

Sandi from Hermosa Beach

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 12:10 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Was he relative to Lou Levy?

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-21-2003 11:22 PM

Saundra Hummer

Senior Member

Registered: Apr 2003

Location: West Coast

Posts: 470

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

Was he relative to Lou Levy?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi! You know, not that I know of, different spelling, though that doesn't always mean everything.

You should write to him about Lester Young, he could probably answer a lot of your questions about him, as I am sure he probably knew him pretty well. Couldn't hurt to try. Send me an email about it.

__________________

Sandi from Hermosa Beach

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-21-2003 11:42 PM

Tenorman

Senior Member

Registered: Jun 2003

Location: London, UK

Posts: 320

I think that it is safe to say that Stan Levey and Lou Levy were not related. I checked them both out in Groves, which is usually very good at mentioning any relatives (even God parents/children) who have anything to do with the music industry, but there was nothing

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-21-2003 11:54 PM

Oldtimer

Senior Member

Registered: Jul 2003

Location: Northeastern US

Posts: 112

I don't know if anyone else mentioned it, but Mary Lou Williams personal account of the famous 1933 Kansas City "Cutting Contest" between Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young is quoted in her biography "Morning Glory"

She said: "The word went around that Hawkins was in the Cherry Blossom Club where the high rollers like to hang out, and within about an hour there were Lester Young, Ben Webster, Hershel Evens, Herman Walder and one or two other tenors piling into the club, I happened to be nodding that night and went home to sleep. Around 4 A.M., I awoke to hear someone pecking at my screen. I opened the window on Ben Webster. He was saying, 'Get up, pussycat, we're jammin' and all the other pianists are tired out now. Hawkins has got his shirt off and is still blowin'. You got to come down. Sure enough, when we got there Hawkins was in his singlet taking turns with the Kaycee men. It seems he had run into something he didn't expect. Lester's style was light and it took him maybe five choruses to warm up. But then he would really blow; then you couldn't handle him on a cutting session. That was how Hawkins got cut up. The Henderson band was playing in St. Louis that evenng, and Ben knew Hawk had to be on the way. But he kept trying to blow everything to beat Ben and Herschel and Lester. When at last he gave up, he got straight in his car and drove to St. Louis. I heard he had just bought a new Cadillac and that he burnt it out trying to make the job on time."

For some other recollections of this legendary session, check out

http://www.jerryjazzmusician.com/ma...ncounters3.html

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-22-2003 01:57 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Honestly, I never saw this online, but now it is available:

http://www.magnumphotos.com/

LESTER YOUNG BAND. from left to right : Harold WEST (drums), Nick FENTON (double basss), Shad COLLINS (trumpet), Clyde HART (piano), Lester YOUNG (tenor saxophone), John COLLINS (guitar). USA. New York City. Kelly's Stables. 1941

mmilovan has attached this image:

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-26-2003 08:51 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Cool photos, it is said that these photos originated from 1956, but somewhere I saw they were from famous 1952 Eckstine jamm session:

mmilovan has attached this image:

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-26-2003 08:56 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

This one too:

mmilovan has attached this image:

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-26-2003 08:57 AM

EKE BBB

jazz seeker

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Madrid, Spain

Posts: 869

Wonderful photos, Milan!

That magnum website is a superb source for all of us who love jazz photography!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-26-2003 09:12 AM

brownie

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: paris, france

Posts: 223

Many of the photos available at the Magnum site come from the collection of Frank Driggs. That collection is huge. I had a look at it a couple of years ago when I visited the Magnum headquarters in Paris.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-26-2003 10:19 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Oh, man, how nice it would be to have time machine to transfer you in front of that Kelly Stable's bandstand!

Looking at the members of the band and knowing something about theirs sensitive approaches to playing, one can easily get to conclusion the band dynamically sounds like early MJQ, or something like that!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-27-2003 07:04 AM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Of course, if someone wants to hear the magic, he can listen to famous Una Mae Carlisle session from march, 1941 where her interesting voice is bacgrounded by the mentioned band itself. I like "Blitzkrieg Baby" especially (and I've read that Ruby Braff owned in his youth that record with "Beautiful Eyes" on side B, and worn it to death).

It's a pitty the band lived quite short amount of time, and recorded so small. It was death of Lester's father caused Lester to move to the West Coast.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-27-2003 07:25 AM

Lonson

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 291

I'm a tremendous fan of Una Mae Carlisle, I have all the cd appearances of her material, and even in duplicate (i. e. I have the RCA double cd and also the same material on Classics, the Harlequin cd and also the same material on Classics). I wish one day that more would be released, including the supposedly unissued sides she did for Columbia, and her Soundies recordings. . . .

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-27-2003 01:05 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Was she a singer only, because this setting indroduces her as such. It is Lester Young (first) band backing her singinig. Anyway, these are gorgeous pieces of combo music. One can only wonder how it sounds alive. Rhythm is so nice, four in a bar solid beat, while Clyde Hart doing his Count Basie role effectively.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-27-2003 05:46 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Just to let know people interested in this subject that we have on http://www.harlem.org/ honored guests - in fact Lester's granddaughter (if I understood correctly) posted here:

http://www.harlem.org/ubb/Forum10/HTML/000001.html

These boards are simply great!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

08-27-2003 09:24 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

Another photo, never seen it before:

mmilovan has attached this image:

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-03-2003 05:18 PM

mmilovan

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 220

I posted this on organissimo, but I found it interesting to repost it right here, if someone is interested in discussion.

To be honest, there are only 3 sessions on that Verve box, where Pres was loaded I think, still he produced great moments: 1955 session with Peterson, one 1957 session and other clarinet session (issued as separate disc as: "Laughing to Keep from Crying"). So I wont refer to them.

All of the others (and the last one too) are clean! 1950 and 1951 dates (with John Lewis - few people ever discussed them) produces one of the greatest blues ever: "Slowmotion Blues", 1952 with Peterson date is masterpiece per se, as well as 1956. And of course Nat Cole date from 1946.

And last one 1959 date, I found Pres all right, despite some cutting done by critic! But, there in Paris, according to sources he stopped drinking and he was happy with engagement, at least - in first time.

Miles fans, please listen to Pres on this one. He is just like Miles. Great sense for silence and melodic invention.

Listen and don't allow the critic tells you what to listen, and what quality of music is. Ask your hart about it.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

I just finished listening to the Oscar Peterson material in Verve’s Lester Young box and the most disturbing thing happened. I never noticed before, but…

Prez makes liberal use of a figure or pattern that, once identified, makes it hard to concentrate on anything else (Tatum’s cascading runs have the same effect on me). At first, I thought it was some kind of tension building device, but when it continued into the next song and then the next, I had to turn the stuff off.

Unlike Laughin’ To Keep From Cryin’, Prez’s solos still tell a coherent story despite the repetition. Or does the repetition act like glue, holding his solos together?

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 03:54 AM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by hadi·blues

Prez makes liberal use of a figure or pattern that, once identified, makes it hard to concentrate on anything else (Tatum’s cascading runs have the same effect on me). At first, I thought it was some kind of tension building device, but when it continued into the next song and then the next, I had to turn the stuff off.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is it one note pattern with different sounding of each note repeating, may I ask? If it is, I have just different story of finding that pattern in improvisation while listening how can it sound.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 06:25 AM

EKE BBB

jazz seeker

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Madrid, Spain

Posts: 887

Thanks for bringing "the LY lost pages" back, Milan!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 08:10 AM

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

mmilovan,“Just You, Just Me,” for example, is riddled with this 6 or 7-note figure. I’ve a strong suspicion it’s a favorite or “signature” pattern since Prez’s days with Basie whose frequency, for whatever reason, mushroomed out of control. Sure wish I had the ability to describe it in more detail.

My first thought was to go back and listen to other Prez recordings for the same pattern, but I backed away. The last thing I want to do is sit in a corner counting occurrences instead of enjoying Prez.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 11:45 AM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

hadi·blues,

Yours observation surely is interesting, - still I don't now to what "Just You, Just Me" version you refer to. But, it is always matter of taste. Some people like Pres, some like Bird, other like other people that gave them idea of perfect emotions in perfect world. Pres is surely not the player to lull someone's ears, at the times he can be bitter and hard to follow. Anyway, I've never noticed that pattern, while I've noticed one note repeating (as well as other people did) - it is not the same as r&b saxophonist can do that one note thing, Pres always told us stories with that repeating device, building whole lot of melody, tension to resolve, rhythmic ideas to flow.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 03:28 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 655

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by mmilovan

hadi·blues,

Anyway, I've never noticed that pattern, while I've noticed one note repeating (as well as other people did) - it is not the same as r&b saxophonist can do that one note thing, Pres always told us stories with that repeating device, building whole lot of melody, tension to resolve, rhythmic ideas to flow.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This has nothing to do with Hadi's observation..just a comment on the honking bit

We talked about this on another thread ( maybe this one but the way the boards have been attacked.. who knows) so it may be a bit repetitave.. but...

Pres was the " father" of honking.. the repeated notes were the result of "false fingering" creating an added rhythmic pulse to his solo lines. Became a bit of a Pres trade mark. Later sax players took it to more extravagant extremes leading to the R&B type thing.

There is a JATP recording that has Pres preceding Jacquet, as Benny Green points out in the notes, Pres towards the end of his solo, inserts some more forceful honks just to let Jacquet know he knew what was coming from his "honking son"... thats not Greens exact words just my interpretation of an event he draws attention too.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 03:56 PM

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

I nearly feel like we’re three blind men talking about an elephant, but in an effort to be more clear…

“Just You, Just Me”; Lester Young, Oscar Peterson, Barney Kessel, Ray Brown, JC Heard; Recorded on November 28, 1952; Disk 2, track 16 of box set, or track 3 of With the Oscar Peterson Trio.

No, it’s not a single repeated note, nor is there any honking involved. It’s a fast 6 or 7-note sequence. Prez will sometimes vary the sequence speed, number of notes or which note is emphasized, but this single musical idea reappears numerous times throughout the song (and the session).

mmilovan, I can email a 7.75KB MP3 example of the figure –if you’re interested.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 08:10 PM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 655

In that solo Pres uses a " quote" type variation on "Younger Than Springtime" the "A" section of that song. He seems to imply it in the opening choruses but really hits on it a lot in his closing chorus ( after Kessel) repeating the phrase with slight variations in note length and spacing, about three or four times.

This might be what you are hearing. once it catches your attention just about all of this version of Just You, becomes almost an Ode to Younger Than Springtime... Pres must have had something on his mind........

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 08:27 PM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

hadi-blues,

Mmmmm,

OP date from 1952, my favourite one!

OK, pardon me, for my misunderstanding you. If you can email me at:

mmilovan@yubc.net

with attachment provided, I will be most grateful - just to exactly know what we are talking about. Then I can put comment that makes more sense (speaking about the subject). Thanks.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 08:38 PM

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

mp3 figure forwarded!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-22-2003 08:52 PM

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

PD, I don’t seem to have a copy of “Younger Than Springtime.” Is it a Savoy cut, or maybe an out-of-print Columbia track?

Maybe it is a reference to another song, but if so, it seems strange that Prez would recycle the quote so many times, and on other Prez/Peterson numbers, too.

Sent the mp3 clip your way.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 12:17 AM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 655

I wasn't referring to a Pres recording of " Younger than" but that he quotes it in his Just you solo.. head on after the Kessel solo. After you hear the quote, which he repeats often but varied in his out chorus, and then play the whole Just you again, it seems as if he alludes to it through out his opening choruses.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 12:34 AM

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

Ah! I understand.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 12:50 AM

PDEE

Senior Member

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Woodinville Wa

Posts: 655

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by hadi·blues

Ah! I understand.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But that ain't the phrase on the MP3

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 02:11 AM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

Shawn,

to be honest, I don't find this lick disturbing, and to be more punctual, that figure never occurred and waved back in my mind while listening to Lester. For that reason, I don't find it disturbing if I can put it in that way.

But I clearly understand what you would like to tell to us.

In adititon to citation thing, just like to tell how I noticed that Pres quoted so often, just as other great names (Bird and Dex come to mind). His earliest citation that I've noticed came from 1942 Nat Cole session - "Tea For Two" phrase in "Body And Soul".

Maybe there are earliest examples, don't know.

It worked fine there.

PDEE many thanks you've heard that one mentioned in "Just You, Just Me"!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 04:01 AM

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

PD, and yet I still understood!

mmilovan, fair enough. Unfortunately I think my ears are now tuned to seek it out.

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 04:05 AM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

Shawn,

I also sent you an email with some extra clips provided...

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 04:36 AM

shawn-m

pysmatic morologist

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: bothell, wa

Posts: 580

Milan, Just found it and replied!

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

09-23-2003 05:06 AM

mmilovan

What Is There To Say

Registered: Mar 2003

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Posts: 96

shawn, still havent find a way to put clips on some URL to discuss them all together (you know those that explain begining of free )

Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

11-22-2003 06:58 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for bringing this to all of us, Flurin and Agustin!

Just to inform all of us interested in this subject, that a few live recordings with Pres singing exists in family:

http://www.harlem.org/ubb/Forum10/HTML/000001.html

And on his blindfold test 4, Jim brought some crazy 3 chorus long Pres solo from 1944 with Basie.

Some of the parts of this solo reminded me to Pres voice and his singing!

Real nice!

Edited by mmilovan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Harlem link, Milan.

Well, I read all the Prez discussions - exhaustive, fascinating, full of information and interesting news, ideas, perceptions, and emotions.

It seems like I'm starting on a real Prez-trip myself...

What a pity the french Masters of Jazz are no longer around! It seems those discs would have been quite a good documentation of the Prez' music. Did they also include widely available studio dates? Or broadcasts and rare live material only?

ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those Masters of Jazz CDs had everything (all alternates, all broadcasts, all available material). They included unissued sides from the Lee-Lester Young band in one of their Prez CD.

The going under of that series was a disaster!

I hatre to think that nobody is going to take over on what they were starting to complete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those Masters of Jazz CDs had everything (all alternates, all broadcasts, all available material). They included unissued sides from the Lee-Lester Young band in one of their Prez CD.

The going under of that series was a disaster!

I hatre to think that nobody is going to take over on what they were starting to complete.

Thanks, brownie. Do you have these CDs? The Basies and the Prez'? If so, could you (or anybody else who has them) please indicate which volumes do include rare stuff or broadcasts, and maybe add what exactly (date would suffice, I could then check with the Porter disco) - that would be GREAT!

thanks,

ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Masters of Jazz Lester Young volume 6 had 'Wham' and 'Lady Be Good' from a December 22, 1940 jam session with Hot Lips Page, Charlie Barnet and unidentified musicians. The same volume 6 has the following unissued sides from a June 1942 broadcast from the Trouville Club in LA by the Lee and Lester Young band: an incomplete 'Broadway', an 'incomplete 'Benny's Bugle', a complete 'Broadway', an incomplete 'Lady Be Good' and an incomplete 'Benny's Bugle'. All these Trouville Club numbers are pretty short but feature Lester Young.

Masters of Jazz Billie Holiday volume 11 has 'I Hear Music' and an incomplete 'Solitude' from the same Trouville Club broadcast with Billie singing with the Young brothers band.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the information, brownie! Got to look for Prez Vol. 6 at least!

ubu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those Master of Jazz series are getting more difficult to find these days. I grab any that I unhave whenever I ran into one of those CDs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Basie series, which unfortunately only reached 11 volumes, is tremendous. A full half of the material is broadcasts of the greatest big band that ever existed, mostly in quite good sound. I consider it to be a cornerstone of my entire music collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.