Being Prez - The Life and Music of Lester Young - Dave Gelly

Being Prez - The Life and Music of Lester Young - Dave Gelly

‘Let’s review the books’

Being Prez - The Life and Music of Lester Young - Dave Gelly

Dave Gelly [+-]
Writer and Journalist
Dave Gelly writes about jazz in The Observer and other newspapers and journals. He has written and presented many features for BBC radio and hosted a weekly Radio Two show. He was a leading writer on the Sony Award-winning ten-part BBC radio series Sinatra: Voice of the Century and is the author of several books, including Masters of the Jazz Saxophone (Miller Freeman, 2000) and Stan Getz: Nobody Else but Me (Backbeat 2002). He was named Jazz Writer of the Year in the 1999 British Jazz Awards. Dave Gelly was appointed MBE in the 2005 New Years Honours.


From time to time, throughout the 1950s, Lester appeared as guest soloist with Count Basie’s band. It was now a very different band from the one he had been a member of, but he always enjoyed the experience. Various recordings survive, most of them rather scrappy affairs taken from live broadcasts, but the one made at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival is much better. The date was 7 July, and there was a down-Memory-Lane flavour about the whole set, with Jo Jones and Jimmy Rushing also taking part. Lester plays his own two feature numbers, ‘Polka Dots And Moonbeams’ and ‘Lester Leaps In’, for which Basie carried fully prepared arrangements, and is then joined by Jones and Rushing for off-the-cuff versions of ‘Sent For You Yesterday’, ‘Boogie Woogie’ and ‘Evenin’’. His playing is remarkably forceful throughout and he improvises delightful accompanying lines behind Rushing.

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Gelly, Dave. ‘Let’s review the books’. Being Prez - The Life and Music of Lester Young. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 131 - 141 Jul 2007. ISBN 9781845536046. Date accessed: 30 Nov 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.18917. Jul 2007

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