Lester Willis Young

Lester Willis Young

[yuhng]
Young, Lester Willis, 1909-59, American jazz musician, b. Woodville, Miss. He played the tenor saxophone with various bands (1929-40), including those of Fletcher Henderson and Count Basie, with whom he first recorded in 1936. Young and Coleman Hawkins are considered the major influences on tenor-saxophone playing, and Young's style was important in the development of progressive, or cool, jazz, which arose in the late 1940s. He won several jazz polls and made a number of records, including a series with Billie Holiday, who gave him his nickname, "President," later shortened to "Pres" or "Prez."

See biography by D. Gelly (2007).

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