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

Synopsis

"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, syphillis, 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." Publishers Weekly "[This is] the big, warm book about Lester Young that swing lovers have been waiting for, written by a Danish jazz musician. This is a rich authentic life of one of the three greatest tenor,players who ever lived, much of it told in vivid quotation from eyewitnesses." Kirkus "this is the first thoroughgoing biography of one of America's greatest musicians; its fascination for at least jazz aficionados is magnetic....Along with Porter's magisterial work of musical analysis, Lester Young, this is the book to have on the most influential jazzman between Armstrong and Parker." Booklist "A fascinating and invaluable compilation of raw material...a straightforward, accurate narrative." The New York Times By far the most comprehensive work available on theextraordinary Lester Young, You Just Fight For Your Life is the jazz enthusiast's dream come true.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1990