Prez (Lester Young)
Materials Sandblasted glass, bronze, wood
Collection Electra Records, Rockefeller Center, New York City
Lester Young was, some say, the greatest jazz tenor saxophone player. He came out of New Orleans in his late teens having left his family band. He settled in Kansas City at the time the hotbed of the creative jazz scene. He played with many notable combos and the Count Basie Orchestra. He was a close collaborator with Billie Holiday who gave him the nick name Prez after President Franklin Roosevelt, “The greatest man around”. His period of greatest creativity was during the 1940’s, and some say his playing declined at the end of his life due to drinking and depression.