Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lester Young Centennial

Lester Young was born in Mississippi on August 27, 1909. He became a cultural icon after moving to Kansas City in the 1930s. This distressing 1958 clip shows Young near the bitter end. Although it's artificially stitched together, this stunning footage from 1938 demonstrates that jazz was once an incredibly vital form of popular music. (The best shot of Prez is at 1:38.) And lest we get overly sentimental, this audio interview is a fascinating reminder of Young's salty persona. Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat.

This weekend's Charlie Parker tributes in Kansas City and Blue Summit are previewed by Joe Klopus.

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