The First Black President

Lester Young was the first jazz musician I really listened to — on an Aladdin 10″ disc called “Battle of the Saxes,” will Illinois Jacquet on one side and Pres on the other. I still have most of his solo on that version of “D.B. Blues” memorized.

Here’s a 1958 clip of a visibly frail Young playing “Mean To Me.” Frail…but still strong.

And a group performance of “Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid” that includes Pee Wee Russell and Coleman Hawkins:

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