Quote of the Day
In some ways Lester Young is the most complex rhythmically of any musician. He does some things which are just phenomenal.
I know I had my equivalents in Adrian Lester and Lenny James when I was at drama school. I remember David Harewood doing 'Othello' at the National, and Adrian Lester having done Cheek by Jowl's famous 'As You Like It and Company' at the Donmar. Not necessarily performances I saw, but just the fact they happened was massively encouraging.
Journalism is my first love. But music comes in a close second. What's important for me is that whatever you do, whatever your passion is, you should have another passion - something in your life. And when I put on that musician hat and I put the bass in my hands, I'm not Lester Holt the TV guy anymore. I'm just Lester Holt who likes music.
Everyone knows I'm black. I am who I am. This is the person that Lester Sr. and June Holt raised, and I make no apology for it. At the same time, I'm never going to pull a race card to get what I want. You can't have it both ways.
Probably having fallen in love with music and movies at a young age and then first learning about writing by kind of following the path of writers like Dave Marsh and Lester Bangs and being a rock journalist.
I think as long as people are around and can hear a record and hear people like Lester Young on a recording, there will always be a great inspiration for somebody to try to create jazz.
We have about 4 million people who have voted for who they want to see in the Hall of Fame. There are some people they put down that are pretty good players. You have Ray Guy, Jim Plunkett, Lester Hayes and Donnie Shell.
I built up a knowledge of 1960s and '70s British films because my dad used to work nights, and I'd sit up with my mum and watch films - 'How I Won the War' and the films of Richard Lester, Karel Reisz and John Schlesinger.
When I was 16 or 17 I heard the Count Basie band with Jo Jones and Lester Young and Herschel Evans and I couldn't believe it. They were the greatest swing band. I really fell in love with that sound. Everybody danced!
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