[Dixielandjazz] Who Influenced Lester Young?

Marek Boym marekboym at gmail.com
Sun May 9 14:19:36 PDT 2010

This is a well known story.
Nevertheless, I am always happy to re-read a black jazz giant praising
my all-time favourite tenor player.

But close listening seems to indicate another source as well: the
Creole clarinet players.  This is more conspicuous in Young's clarinet
playing, but is reflected in his tenor sax playing as well.

On 9 May 2010 17:08, Stephen G Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net> wrote:
> 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."
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> www.myspace.com/barbonestreetjazzband
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