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Rather than holding his saxophone vertically, Lester Young held it high and to the right at a 45-degree angle.
Herman Leonard/Getty Images
August 27, 2009 Young, aka "The President of Jazz," was born 100 years ago Thursday. He led a revolution on the tenor saxophone that influenced generations to follow, though he died in 1959. He was Billie Holiday's favorite accompanist, and his robust tenor had an impact on everybody from Charlie Parker to Sonny Rollins.
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Lester Young gave Billie Holiday her nickname: "Lady Day."
William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress via flickr.com
April 23, 2009 Jazz has no shortage of celebrated masters. Every year brings an abundance of new milestones for record labels to celebrate. With that in mind, we present songs by six American jazz musicians who would have become centenarians in 2009, including Lester Young.
December 27, 2004 What happens when the hippest cat in jazz is drafted into the army during World War II? Biographer Douglas Daniels tells the story of Lester Young in uniform.
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August 1, 2001 In the late 1930s, big bands frequently vied for the greatest applause in "ballroom competitions." According to commentator A.B. Spellman, "the Basie band was never beaten" in these competitions." This two-volume set showcases Basie at the height of his ballroom success, and features his renowned rhythm section, "the Kansas City Walk."
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August 1, 2001 Some critics claim that Lester Young never sounded the same after his stint in the military in the '40s, but The Complete Aladdin Recordings proves otherwise. This classic two-album set showcases Young's unique ability to float over bar lines with a light tone, rather than the forceful approach that was dominant during his time.
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