You Just Fight for Your Life: The Story of Lester Young

Frank Buchmann-Moller, Author Praeger Publishers $119.95 (302p) ISBN 978-0-275-93265-7
A Danish musician here presents the most accurate, comprehensive work on a major figure in American jazz: Lester Willis Young (1909-1959), better known as ``Pres'' or ``Prez,'' from the nickname ``President'' given to him by Billie Holiday. Based on interviews with Young's colleagues and friends, and often presenting his own vulgar, scatological words, the book faithfully chronicles the ups and downs of his life and career. Despite his alcoholism, drug addiction, syphilis, epilepsy and emotional disturbances, Young became the outstanding tenor saxophonist of his time and a dominant, profound influence on the development of bop and progressive (``cool'') jazz in the 1940s. His solos with the bands of Fletcher Henderson and Count Basie and his collaboration with Holiday are recalled in this outstanding biography. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 298 pages - 978-0-313-36056-5
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