king ubu

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

351 posts in this topic

Sandi, what a great story! Pardon my ignorance, but what was/is your relationship with the Lighthouse?

I was such a wild child growing up, into anything, and everything physical as well as dangerous and so ended up over doing it, ending up with a terrible stone bruise and that went into bone infection on the ball of my foot, and so I was on crutches, fighting intermittent raging fevers, up into 105 a few times, and so I was having to walk on crutches forever, as bone infection never actually heals. There were times it was so bad I had a home teacher as it was too difficult to carry books all over our campus when it was raining and such, as we had no indoor hallways. So with a home teacher, my lessons were over by 10:00 AM, or around there, giving me free time like you wouldn't believe.

My mother worked nights and all of my friends were in school, when they weren't, they were there at our house by the dozens, but daytimes were so boring that I could hardly bear it, so I would walk down the hill, go swimming, watch everyone surf, walk the 13 blocks to town and go into the Lighthouse to rest, as that far along with the hills, were a chore on crutches, but I adapted and it became like nothing. But still, I would be thirsty and would want to just relax, so I'd go in and watch Miles and his band and whomever else would show up just to join in for fun, getting to see and hear them catch up with old friends. So I got to know most of the best who ever lived. I got to know them in a different way than most ever would. I was only 15 when I became a friend of Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Frank Rosolino, Stan Levey, Clark Terry, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Bill Perkins, LeRoy Vinegar, Milt Hinton, and too many others to name.

I had asked John Levine, the owner if it was alright for me to go in there on a regualar basis, and he welcomed me with open arms, as did most of the band members. After a ugly beginning, even Miles was terrific to me, offering to take request anytime anywhere if done in a certain unobtrusive manner, and if the band agreed to it. He did take them, and the band always agreed. I had no idea, no idea at all that he never took requests. They more or less looked out after me and put up with me, this due to my age, and due to the fact they knew it was rough going.

The doctors had wanted to amputate my leg to just below the knee, I refused and told my mother I would run away and eat out of restaurant garbage cans if they agreed to it, so they just put the papers on the buffet and told me the day I changed my mind, if it ever became too much to handle there they were. Anyway, I met Lester when I was 17. I had known Mingus when I was little, he was a teenager, & he worked at restaurants we used to eat at when we went up to my doctors in Los Angeles on Flower. Then I had met him at Watt's Towers as my dad used to take items to the fellow building them, metal and bright ceramic plates, which he put near and on his shack. Mingus was friends of the man building them, and spent a lot of time there, and he remembered me from there.

I dated a lot, but only went in on dates to there about 5 times. I went in with some girl friends frequently, that was ok, you hear about us on lots of posts and web sites about the place. We were the only single girls who frequented the Lighthouse. I didn't like going on dates there, and neither did my friends. With me as well as with them, I wanted to be in the music, not having to keep up idle chatter with anyone. It was my private place, my place for every emotion I've ever had, all except for the boy thing. I didn't date anyone from there either, except for one fellow. It just wouldn't have worked for me. In fact it would have ruined it.

Edited by EulaM

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Thanks, Sandi! Fascinating! I remember seeing your Lighthouse avatar and references over at AAJ when I used to go there, and I always wondered how you had become so intimately familiar with it and the incredible legends who played there. I look forward to your posting lots more stories here! :tup

Edited by Ron S

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Thanks, Sandi! Fascinating! I remember seeing your Lighthouse avatar and references over at AAJ when I used to go there, and I always wondered how you had become so intimately familiar with it and the incredible legends who played there. I look forward to your posting lots more stories here! :tup

Mike put up the avitar for me, much to my surprise.

I was pretty lucky to have lived where I did, when I did. It was the best of two worlds, the Golden Age of Jazz and the best of the surfing world as well. It was more fun than anyone can imagine.

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Sandra, glad to see you posting here today! (This is Lon, Lonson, Pie-Eyed Blue).

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Sandra, glad to see you posting here today! (This is Lon, Lonson, Pie-Eyed Blue).

Amazing, everyone is here and getting in touch.

Glad to see it.

We are closer to our move to Costa Rica, you will all have to "come on down", especially if we get the place I'm wanting, we'll have quite a bit of room and a view to die for. It should be fun. Taj Majal puts on a concert once a year or so down there, that would be a good time to try to swing it.

I just don't do breakfast, when it comes to it, you're on your own.

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Sandra, glad to see you posting here today! (This is Lon, Lonson, Pie-Eyed Blue).

Amazing, everyone is here and getting in touch.

Glad to see it.

We are closer to our move to Costa Rica, you will all have to "come on down", especially if we get the place I'm wanting, we'll have quite a bit of room and a view to die for. It should be fun. Taj Majal puts on a concert once a year or so down there, that would be a good time to try to swing it.

I just don't do breakfast, when it comes to it, you're on your own.

I can't believe you were shut out either. I really missed you and it was MG who let me in on what had happened, and then you.

I've been a member here for a long time, but just never posted much, just one time I believe and it was about food. Then I had the crash and had to have our computer rebuilt and lost everything, so since these posts take up so much time, I just never got back to this site.

It's good to communicate with you and the other guys again. Been a while hasn't it?

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Hi, Lon! [waves wildly from bleachers] :)

Sandi, I never heard this story about Lester, or about how you knew Mingus, either. Feels like old times! :D

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Hi, Lon! [waves wildly from bleachers] :)

Sandi, I never heard this story about Lester, or about how you knew Mingus, either. Feels like old times! :D

I went on my week long sailing trip to Catalina Island, shortly after this day with Lester, a gift from an old friend, Bobby Sedillo, and then into the hospital for an operation. Dr. Robert Watanabe, Dr. Bruce Robison, DrRobert Harway, Dr. Robert Fong (lots of Roberts there), and several others at UCLA worked like crazy to save my leg. They did it. but it was four months of being in there, and I never got to see Lester again, however I was off my crutches and the first place I went, the day I got out of the hospital, was to the Lighthouse, my home away from home for part of the time, and I walked down to it without crutches for the first time ever. Frank Rosolino did his happy dance for me, Clark put his arm around my waist and never let go for the longest time, while everyone there gave me a kiss on the cheek, happy for me that that long ordeal was finally over. It had been almost eight years of in and out of Childrens Orthopaedic and then UCLA where new methods were used which worked.

Lester had wanted to introduce me to Billy Holiday, they were on the mend, and what a thrill that would have been, but it wasn't meant to be. I never got the chance to see Lester again, which is too bad, as we were simpatico in the extreme. I do love the fact that Mingus wrote that song for Lester, it shows the love between them.

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Hey, Sandi, long time no see! I stopped posting on AAJ quite a while ago - but I certainly remember our PM exchanges back there... great to see you here, do stick around!

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Unofortunatelly, we are still waiting for that unissued live LOC material from beginning 1940s, on few acetates... last time I heard about them, it was transcription turntable that was unfunctional, or something like that... :blink:

in july 2007 i contacted larry appelbaum from the loc in washington and asked him about plans to release the lester young sides. here is his answer:

" Hello Marcel,

I'm not aware of any plans to issue the Lester Young jam session materials.

Any record label can do so as long as they get permission of the rights

holders. So far I've not been contacted by any label and no one has come

down to listen to the discs.

Larry"

and in a second mail he gave this information:

"There's only about 15-20 mins of Lester, along with other items from the jam

session (like Sammy Price trio performances).

i would think this might be bonus material for a Lester Young reissue.

Larry"

that is both sad and surprise news for me.

because i thought that there is a market for a legend like lester young and

that this recordings go very quickly on cd (like the monk/coltrane one). but

that´s not the fact. so we have to make propaganda and find a label who is

willing to release this historical recordings.

keep boppin´

marcel

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Hey, Sandi, long time no see! I stopped posting on AAJ quite a while ago - but I certainly remember our PM exchanges back there... great to see you here, do stick around!

Thanks ubu,

It's been fun seeing all of you guys over here. Had to check out this thread on Lester, and here you all are. It's been ages and ages. What happened to our buddy from Spain? Is he here or did his new family take him off into Disney World?

He was neat to hear from as well.

Glad to find you here, and thanks for the nice comments and invite,

Sandi

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Hello Sandi,

I'm glad that you are here, and that you are posting your priceless rememberings as well. I will never forget your stories from AAJ forum about Lester, as well as about his attiuteds. More closely I will remember how desparate were Stitt and Waldron in searching for him, when he simply dissapears...

And I know that Agustín is somewhere here, as far as I know he is well and happy...

Edited by mmilovan

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Unofortunatelly, we are still waiting for that unissued live LOC material from beginning 1940s, on few acetates... last time I heard about them, it was transcription turntable that was unfunctional, or something like that... :blink:

in july 2007 i contacted larry appelbaum from the loc in washington and asked him about plans to release the lester young sides. here is his answer:

" Hello Marcel,

I'm not aware of any plans to issue the Lester Young jam session materials.

Any record label can do so as long as they get permission of the rights

holders. So far I've not been contacted by any label and no one has come

down to listen to the discs.

Larry"

and in a second mail he gave this information:

"There's only about 15-20 mins of Lester, along with other items from the jam

session (like Sammy Price trio performances).

i would think this might be bonus material for a Lester Young reissue.

Larry"

that is both sad and surprise news for me.

because i thought that there is a market for a legend like lester young and

that this recordings go very quickly on cd (like the monk/coltrane one). but

that´s not the fact. so we have to make propaganda and find a label who is

willing to release this historical recordings.

keep boppin´

marcel

And speaking in terms of sound restoration and preservation, with all today sophisticated software and very good needles, and also professional turntables available for old records - they surely can work marvel of such material, properly recorded and not played till death...

Marcel, you are so right in putting your statement: "that is both sad and surprise news for me.

because i thought that there is a market for a legend like lester young and

that this recordings go very quickly on cd (like the monk/coltrane one). but

that´s not the fact."

After all those complete box sets of every important person in jazz of the past, we are still not blessed to get picture of Lester in totall - and God knows how many left unissued (especially, postwar broadcasts and Basie broadcasts as well).

Edited by mmilovan

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Hello Sandi,

I'm glad that you are here, and that you are posting your priceless rememberings as well. I will never forget your stories from AAJ forum about Lester, as well as about his attiuteds. More closely I will remember how desparate were Stitt and Waldron in searching for him, when he simply dissapears...

And I know that Agustín is somewhere here, as far as I know he is well and happy...

Hi mmilovan

Is it ever good to hear from you, and you know, I really fouled up on AAJ as I was so new to the board and to computers as well, and somehow the two of you, UBU and you ended up on the "Ignore" function. I even wrote to the moderators and told them I didn't want you there, but there you stayed. I haven't heard much about Agustin since shortly after the Madrid bombings, and I remember how worried we all were about he and his family, and how sorry we were to learn of such things happening over there as well. That was ages ago wasn't it?

About Lester disappearing, Mingus was worried sick, thinking he had had a heart attack or some other malady and had been hauled off in an ambulance, that he had been hauled off by the police, that he had been beaten up or that he had drowned, telling me he "had visions of his Pork Pie Hat floating in the surf", and any other number of terrible happenings. He said he never had been so relieved when he saw us walk in the front door. Mal came running over, getting Lester by his shoulders, ushering him back to the bandstand, turning to me wanting to know if he had come onto me, if Lester had given me any trouble, I kept telling him "No", "Not at all", he kept asking me and I was telling him that no one was ever nicer. I was going to leave, just to get away from Mal, Sonny and Mingus, but Lester kept calling me to follow them as he had wanted me to see them play "The something new we've been working on." So I followed them up to the bandstand, where it had been moved to, further in the back and watched and listened to them play. However, they were all so upset, it wasn't their best. Still I enjoyed it.

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Sandi,

these are so nice and divine stories, stories that brought Pres back here with all of us!

Tell me, did you ever hear him doing his famous coined language, and phrases only known to closest friends, or was he just "straight talk" while conversating with you?

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Sandi,

these are so nice and divine stories, stories that brought Pres back here with all of us!

Tell me, did you ever hear him doing his famous coined language, and phrases only known to closest friends, or was he just "straight talk" while conversating with you?

A bit, and I told him about not being able to understand much of what Richie Kamuca was saying when he got with old friends, him with his rapid-fire bebop talk. He explained a lot to me, but that was another lifetime ago.

He did say some things and told me what they were about when I would look puzzled and go What? Me doing this with a gesture and a look, not so much with words. He explained a lot to me. Showed me his leg where it had been injured, told me about he and Billie, and all sorts of things, I mean a lot, but that was so long ago that a lot of what he told me is foggy, so I don't want to commit it to anyones elses minds. He told me I'm the only one he told about his leg, and that no one had a need to know about things that went on in his life. Why he picked me to share so many things with is a mystery. I just know I loved being with him.

I hear he had mental problems, that to me is so hard to hear, because to me he was terrific to be around. I don't believe other peoples accounts of him when they talk like that, not for one instance. He was mischieveous, and like a little boy about so many things, with a joy for life, but there was a wonderfully serious side to him as well. Bright and caring. He was wonderful.

He was so cute about calling my mother and asking her to come down, that he would buy her a martini, this after asking me what her favorite drink was, he offered her a cab ride down, but she turned him down and later was sorry for it, after realizing just who he was, as she remembered him from the days when she and my dad were so into the big bands and other music, from the times they would go up to Hollywood to hear the big bands play, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, etc. For years she kicked herself for not coming down to hear him play and to meet him.

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So can someone recommend a way to go in hearing pre-war Lester... I have the Verve box and the Aladdin recordings but nothing earlier than that. After reading the Mosaic Young/Basie thread I think I am hearing that I should pick up the Basie No. 1 Band box and something else to come up with the same material unless I just want only the Young solos.

So what would you recommend me picking up? Thanks in advance.

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So can someone recommend a way to go in hearing pre-war Lester... I have the Verve box and the Aladdin recordings but nothing earlier than that. After reading the Mosaic Young/Basie thread I think I am hearing that I should pick up the Basie No. 1 Band box and something else to come up with the same material unless I just want only the Young solos.

So what would you recommend me picking up? Thanks in advance.

Definitely the No. 1 Band box, along with the Decca sides in some form - the three Hep CDs have the best sound, but the Decca box is perfectly listenable.

Also, the 1938 and 1944 Commodores, the Pres Savoy sides (1944 & 1949), the Pres Keynote sides, the Signature recordings, and the 1940 rehearsal recordings with Charlie Christian.

That's a lifetime or two of great listening.

Edited by paul secor

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d77377tk3vp.jpg

c9505140tsq.jpg

g58928lkaoe.jpg

You can't go wrong with these.

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post-1254-1212880323_thumb.png :excited: here are some seconds of lester young on film that are totaly new to me: from a j.a.t.p. concert in helsinki, february 23, 1953:

http://yle.fi/elavaarkisto/?s=s&g=8&am...t=604&a=143

click on the "video" button under the picture of ella fitzgerald (it takes a few seconds or more to start)

or try this:

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=YKlZ5sqL7YM

lester is at 0:50 and again at 1:25

(the soundtrack is not identical to the footage)

keep boppin´

marcel

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marcel,

this is wonderful :excited: :excited: :excited:

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Yes, thanks a million, Marcel!

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and the Oscar for film editing goes to...

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Who is that alto player captured alongside with Lester and Flip: is it Willie Smith?

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