[Dixielandjazz] Who Influenced Lester Young?
Stephen G Barbone
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun May 9 07:08:13 PDT 2010
From an interview with Nat Hentoff of Downbeat 3/7/56. Pres talks
about his influencers and then gives some advice to aspiring players.
"I've been playing music ever since I was 10. I started on the drums,
but it was too much trouble to carry the traps. So I switched to alto.
Frankie Trumbauer and Jimmy Dorsey were battling for honors in those
days, and I finally found out that I liked Trumbauer. Trumbauer was my
idol. When I had just started to play, I used to buy all his records.
I imagine I can still play all those solos off the record. He played
the C melody saxophone. I tried to get the sound of a C melody on a
tenor. That's why I don't sound like other people. Trumbauer always
told a little story. And I liked the way he slurred the notes. He'd
play the melody first and then after that, he'd play around the
melody. I did like Bud Freeman very much. Nobody played like him.
That's what knocked me out. I remember when he was with Benny
Goodman." . . . . .
Advice To Young Musicians: "A musician should know the lyrics of the
songs he plays, too. That completes it. Then you can go for yourself
and you know what you're doing. A lot of musicians that play nowadays
don't know the lyrics of the songs. That way they're just playing the
changes. That's why I like records by singers when I'm listening at
home. I pick up the words right from there."
Conclusions: "I think they'll all be finally coming back to swinging
and to dancing to music again. A lot of the things now are just
novelties. For me, the music has to swing first."
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