Profile

Lester Young

Musician
Male
Born Aug 27, 1909

Lester Willis Young, nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist. He also played trumpet, violin, and drums. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie's orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument.… Read More

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CHILDHOOD

1909 Birth Born on August 27, 1909.

TEENAGE

1927 17 Years Old Lester Young played in his family's band, known as the Young Family Band, in both the vaudeville and carnival circuits. He left the family band in 1927 at the age of 18 because he refused to tour in the Southern United States, where Jim Crow laws were in effect and racial segregation was required in public facilities.

TWENTIES

1933 23 Years Old In 1933 Young settled in Kansas City, where after playing briefly in several bands, he rose to prominence with Count Basie. … Read More
1938 28 Years Old As well as the Kansas City Sessions, his clarinet work from 1938–39 is documented on recordings with Basie, Billie Holiday, Basie small groups, and the organist Glenn Hardman. … Read More
1939 29 Years Old After Young's clarinet was stolen in 1939, he abandoned the instrument until about 1957. … Read More

THIRTIES

1940 30 Years Old Young left the Basie band in late 1940. … Read More
1942 32 Years Old 1 More Event
During this period Young accompanied the singer Billie Holiday in a couple of studio sessions (during 1937 - 1941 period) and also made a small set of recordings with Nat "King" Cole (their first of several collaborations) in June 1942.
Small record labels not bound by union contracts continued to record and he recorded some sessions for Harry Lim's Keynote label in 1943.
1944 34 Years Old 1 More Event
In August 1944 Young appeared alongside drummer Jo Jones, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, and fellow tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet in Gjon Mili's short film Jammin' the Blues.
1945 35 Years Old He served one traumatic year in a detention barracks and was dishonorably discharged in late 1945. … Read More
1946 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Young's career after World War II was far more prolific and lucrative than in the pre-war years in terms of recordings made, live performances, and annual income. Young joined Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) troupe in 1946, touring regularly with them over the next 12 years. … Read More
1949 39 Years Old With Young at the 1949 JATP concert at Carnegie Hall were Charlie Parker and Roy Eldridge, and Young's solo on "Lester Leaps In" at that concert is a particular standout among his performances in the latter half of his career.

FORTIES

1951 - 1955 2 More Events
1956 46 Years Old He emerged from this treatment improved. In January 1956 he recorded two Granz-produced sessions including a reunion with pianist Teddy Wilson, trumpet player Roy Eldridge, trombonist Vic Dickenson, bassist Gene Ramey, and drummer Jo Jones – which were issued as The Jazz Giants '56 and Pres and Teddy albums. 1956 was a relatively good year for Lester Young, including a tour of Europe with Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Quartet and a successful residency at Olivia Davis' Patio Lounge in Washington, DC, with the Bill Potts Trio. … Read More
1957 47 Years Old 1 More Event
The best-known of these is their July 1957 appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, the line-up including many of his colleagues: Jo Jones, Roy Eldridge, Illinois Jacquet and Jimmy Rushing.
1959 49 Years Old Lester Young made his final studio recordings and live performances in Paris in March 1959 with drummer Kenny Clarke at the tail end of an abbreviated European tour during which he ate next to nothing and drank heavily.

FIFTIES

1959 50 Years Old He died in the early morning hours of March 15, 1959, only hours after arriving back in New York, at the age of 49. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Young.
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