Lester YOUNG - Kansas City Sax

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Although hailing from Mississippi, and despite spending most of his working life in New York and Los Angeles, the great tenor saxophonist Lester Young (1909-1959) will forever be associated with Kansas City, the musical capital of America's Mid-West. It was there that he joined Count Basie, a pairing that helped create some of the most distinctive sounds in Swing. 'Kansas City' became as much a sub-genre label as 'New Orleans' or 'Chicago', and like those two styles its practitioners more often than not functioned away from the music's home base. By the end of the 1930s both Basie and Young were ensconced in New York, a location that could boast better business opportunities for most bands in between spells on the road. However, from 1938 to 1944, Young participated in four separate recording dates with a Kansas City tag, each capturing perfectly the grace and elegance of the saxist, a prime example of creating much fuss in the music world without resorting to histrionics to get your point across.


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