By Gregory Kirschling
February 22, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Lester Leaps In : The Life and Times of Lester 'Pres' Young

C+
type
  • Book

”Lester Leaps In,” the tenor saxist’s signature number recorded with Count Basie in 1939, features his unrivaled hoarse, shimmying solos. In contrast, Lester Leaps In, the book, is a big bio that fails to animate a mythically difficult character in jazz history, the unreadable ”consummate hipster” who coined ”You dig?” and carried a suitcase full of gin and sherry wine when he toured. As heavy as Young’s sax is light, the book is repetitious and plain, much better at explaining spirituality and racism in jazz than it is at explaining Young. C+

Lester Leaps In : The Life and Times of Lester 'Pres' Young

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  • Book
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  • Lester Leaps In : The Life and Times of Lester 'Pres' Young
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