In some ways Lester Young is the most complex rhythmically of any musician. He does some things which are just phenomenal.— Lee Konitz
Impressive Lester Young quotations
Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be again.
I'd been studying the microphone for a dozen years, and I suddenly saw what I'd been doing wrong. I'd been singing too loud. One night I was listening to a record by Lester Young, the horn player, and it came to me. Relax, just relax. It's all going to be all right.
I think as long as people are around and can hear a record and hear people like Lester Young on a recording, there will always be a great inspiration for somebody to try to create jazz.
What I always wanna tell young people now: Pay attention. This isn't gonna happen again.
I, myself, came to enjoy the players who didn't only just swing but who invented new rhythmic patterns, along with new melodic concepts. And those people are: Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Parker, who is the greatest genius of all to me because he changed the whole era around.
I'll always remember when I first heard Lester [Young].
I'd never heard anyone like him before. He was a stylist with a different sound. A sound I'd never heard before or since. To be honest with you, I didn't much like it at first.
Probably having fallen in love with music and movies at a young age and then first learning about writing by kind of following the path of writers like Dave Marsh and Lester Bangs and being a rock journalist.
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
We were all influenced by Lester [Young].
Listen to the records that he made with [Count] Basie. Nobody's got what he's got. He's still the daddy.
In those days before hearing Charlie Parker and Dizzy, and before learning of the so-called bebop era--by the way, I have some thoughts about that word, "bebop"--my first jazz hero ever, jazz improvisor hero, was Lester Young. I was a big "Lester Young-oholic," and all of my buddies were Lester Young-oholics. We'd get together and dissect, analyze, discuss, and listen to Lester Young's solos for hours and hours and hours. He was our god.
I have learned as much about writing about my people by listening to blues and jazz and spirituals as I have from reading novels. The understatements in the tenor saxophone of Lester Young, the crystal, haunting, forever searching sounds of John Coltrane, and the softness and violence of Count Basie's big band - all have fired my imagination as much as anything in literature.
When you are young, work to learn, not to earn.
The amazing thing about Sweets [Edison] was that he exactly spoke the way that he played! He was really unique, the one and only. He was one of the greatest Blues players that I ever heard and played with. Nobody can play like Sweets man, nobody! Most of us, musicians, frequently quote Sweets' phrases in our solos. Like Lester Young, Sweets had a big influence on us musicians, especially when we play some Blues.
As much as I think John Coltrane belongs on the list, I think without Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, both of whom defined improvising on the tenor sax, there would not have been the evolution of the craft by John Coltrane.
It has long been a source of wonder to me why the leading criminological writers--men like Edmund Lester Pearson, H. B. Irving, Filson Young, Canon Brookes, William Bolitho, and Harold Eaton--have not devoted more space to the Greene tragedy; for here, surely, is one of the outstanding murder mysteries of modern times--a case practically unique in the annals of latter-day crime.