Synopses & Reviews
The Life and Times of Lester "Pres" Young
The acclaimed biography of the legendary tenor saxophonist
"Lester Leaps In jumps off the page with authenticity and insight. The Prez was an amazing creator with a uniquely wicked sense of humor, and this book captures it all."
"Twenty years in the making, this is the most thorough and penetrating book on the President of the Tenor Saxophone to date."
"A provocative book, presenting Lester Young in a novel, even controversial light while opening new avenues of possible investigation into one of the most tantalizingly enigmatic of all historic jazz figures."
—Richard Sudhalter, Los Angeles Times
"The lessons learned from Pres' painful life tell us a lot about ourselves and the horrible consequences of racism in America."
—T. Michael Crowell, San Diego Union-Tribune
Table of Contents
Part I Many Moons Ago
1. The President of the Tenor Saxophone
2. Shoeshine Boy: Way Down Yonder, 1909–1919
3. The Professor: The Louisiana Heritage
4. Big Top Blues: On the Road, 1919–1926
5. Jump Lester Jump: Winter Homes, 1919–1929
Part II The Spark in My Heart
6. Red Boy Blues: The Territorial Years, 1929–1932
7. Blue Devil Blues: 1932–1933
8. Big Eyes Blues: In the Court of the King, 1933
9. No Eyes Blues: More Than Just Music, 1934–1936
10. Poundcake: The Holy Main, 1936–1940
11. Watts Eyes: Paying Dues, 1941–1943
12. D.B. Blues: Tribulation and Trial, 1943–1945
Part III Up Here by Myself
13. Sax-O-Be-Bop: Life at the Top
14. Lester Blows Again: Critics" and Sidemen"s Views
15. Movin" with Lester: "Always Reaching . . . "
16. Up "n" Adam: The Cult of the Cool
Part IV The Legacy
17. Good-bye Pork Pie Hat