Monday, August 29, 2011

Did you ever see the Prez walking?

Saturday 27 was Lester Young's 102nd anniversary. The President is a cornerstone of jazz, the perfect blend of swing, blues, sound, and quirkiness. Thanks to recordings, anyone can appreciate his musical qualities, but we can only rely on our elders' stories about his quirks. There's much written about his mannerisms, the way he talked, even the kind of shoes he preferred.

Now, with so much film footage around, you can even see him talking (at 1:01, he asks the drummer, possibly Sonny Greer, for some "tinkety-boom")...

... or walking (1:27) ...

This is from one of Art Ford's Jazz Party TV programmes. With Charlie Shavers (trumpet), J. C. Higginbotham (trombone), Pee Wee Russell (clarinet), Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), Harry Sheppard (vibraphone), Willie 'The Lion' Smith (piano), Dickie Thompson (left-handed guitarist who plays "upside down"), Vinnie Burke (bass), Sonny Greer (drums), and in the background, Bob McGarry (clarinet) plus unidentified trumpets (2), and trombones (2).

Thanks to Doug Ramsey and Ehsan Khoshbakht respectively for pointing out these.

Go here to read more about Lester Young.

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