[Lester Young 1909-1959]
Allen in conversation with Steve Silberman, (interviewed for Wired, December 1996):
“Then I saw Lester Young play at The Five Spot. I remember I went in to say hello to him in the kitchen, and I got down on my knees, and recited the really musical language of Hart Crane’s “Atlantis”, the last poem of The Bridge, his epic. And Lester said, “What was that guy on?” And I asked him what he’d do if an atom bomb blew up and he said, “Well, I’d rush uptown to Fifth Avenue, to Cartier‘s, and I’d smash into a window and I’d grab all the jewels I could and run away”.
..and Allen, in 1968, (to interviewer Michael Aldrich) crediting Lester Young:
“Lester Young was what I was thinking about…”Howl” is all “Lester Leaps In””
It’s August 27, 102 years later – Happy Birthday Prez!