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Lester Young
tenor saxophone: swing

Lester Young's original style of saxophone playing combined the light sounds of Jimmy Dorsey with the alternative fingerings and effects to create a darker, bluesier tone. Hundreds of sax players have copied his style or mentioned him as a primary influence.

In the 30s he played with Walter Page, Charlie Christian, Fletcher Henderson and Coleman Hawkins. In 1934 he played in Count Basie's band for the first time. Lester was nick named Pres by Billie Holiday and later toured with Dizzy Gillespie. In 1944 he was drafted into the army and was court martialed for drug use in 1945. In the mid 50s he made a comeback with Jo Jones, Freddie Green and Roy Eldridge.