Long ago, Billie Holiday dubbed Lester Young the President of The Tenor Saxophone. The title long since morphed into “Prez.” Young was beloved among his fellow musicians for his influential playing. He also won admirers for the subtlety and understatement of his way of expressing himself when he was away from his horn. Many of his turns of spoken phrase are alive in the language sixty years following his death.
Mosaic Records’ Sunday website feature today includes a youtube clip of Monica (Mrs. Stan) Getz recalling a bus ride with Young and the hyperkinetic alto saxophonist Sonny Stitt. It includes her memory of a classic instance of Prezidential rhetoric.
To see all of Mosaic’s Sunday Gazette, go here.