Lester Young: I Cover the Waterfront (1946, take two)

Musically, Lester Young was Coleman Hawkins in a funhouse mirror. The stolid muscleman, taking a break from harmonic weightlifting to admire his brawny reflection, sees instead a lithe minimalist doing tai chi. More conceptualist than technician, Pres liked to "tell a little story" instrumentally. "Lester sings with his horn," remarked his pal Billie Holiday. "You listen to him and can almost hear the words." Here he waits alone at the edge of the sea, scanning the horizon for his intended's return. That much is in the song. The melancholy wisdom that hoping will not make it so is in Lester's horn.

November 02, 2007 · 0 comments


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