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Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young

by

Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lester Young was one of the great jazz masters, and his impact on the course of the art form was profound. He fundamentally changed the way the saxophone was played--his long, flowing lines brought new levels of expressiveness and subtlety to the jazz language, setting the standard for all modern players.

In Being Prez, renowned British critic Dave Gelly follows Lester Young through his life in a rapidly changing world, showing how the music of this exceptionally sensitive man was shaped by his experiences. The reader meets a complicated, vulnerable, gentle individual who was brought up in his father's traveling carnival band. His early career was spent in the nightclubs and dancehalls of Kansas City and the Southwest, and he made his landmark recording debut at the peak of the Swing Era. But at the height of his powers, he was drafted into the US Army, where racism and his own unworldliness landed him in military prison. Following these events, Young grew increasingly withdrawn and suspicious, changes in his character reflected in the darkening mood of his music. Gelly, himself a jazz saxophonist, examines many of Young's classic recordings in illuminating detail. He reveals how as a saxophonist--and as major contributor to the Count Basie band--Young created a strong personal voice, a cool modernism, and a new rhythmic flexibility in the freely dancing rhythms of 4-beat swing.

With his sax jutting oddly to one side, his bizarre oblique use of language, and his unique musical rapport with Billie Holiday (who famously nicknamed him "Prez"), Lester Young has become an icon and a cult figure. This marvelous biography illuminates the life and work of this giant of jazz.

Synopsis:

One of the great jazz masters, Lester Young fundamentally changed the way the saxophone was played, setting the standard for all modern players. Renowned British critic Gelly followed Young through his life in a rapidly changing world, showing how the music of this exceptionally sensitive man was shaped by his experiences.

About the Author

Dave Gelly is the weekly jazz critic for The Observer and contributes to many other British periodicals. Named Jazz Writer of the Year in the 1999 British Jazz Awards, Gelly has hosted a weekly radio show, has contributed to many books on jazz, has written liner notes for most major jazz record labels, and is the author of Stan Getz: Nobody Else But Me. He was invested with the MBE by HM The Queen in 2005. He is also professional saxophonist.

Table of Contents

1. "I Just Loved that Music"

2. The Territory

3. "Well, Okay. So Now we'll Find out what Happens"

4. "The Hippest Thing I Ever Heard"

5. Jumpin' at the Woodside

6. Just Jivin' Around

7. Jammin' the Blues

8. DB Blues

9. Jumpin' at Mesner's

10. "Von Hangman in Here"

11. Prez Returns

12. "Let's Review the Books"

13. "Ivey-Divey!"

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195334777
Author:
Gelly, Dave
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Dave
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
Jazz
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Jazz
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Jazz
Subject:
Music | Popular Music
Subject:
Jazz musicians
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
cultural heritage
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Jazz musicians -- United States.
Subject:
Young, Lester
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20071031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 halftones
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
9.26x6.50x.78 in. .96 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz » Biographies
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Biography » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young Used Hardcover
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Product details 192 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195334777 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , One of the great jazz masters, Lester Young fundamentally changed the way the saxophone was played, setting the standard for all modern players. Renowned British critic Gelly followed Young through his life in a rapidly changing world, showing how the music of this exceptionally sensitive man was shaped by his experiences.
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