Swing Band Tries on “Pork Pie Hat”
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat written by the great bassist Charles Mingues as an elegy and tribute to Lester Young (pictured left wearing his icnonic pork pie hat) is now in rotation for the New Horizons Swing Band. Mingus penned the chart only months after Young died in 1959.
According to Wikipedia's biography, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument….[his] playing style influenced many other tenor saxophonists, including Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, and Gerry Mulligan. In contrast to many of his hard-driving peers, Young played with a relaxed, cool tone and used sophisticated harmonies, using 'a free-floating style, wheeling and diving like a gull, banking with low, funky riffs that pleased dancers and listeners alike.
Young came to prominence playing with the Count Basie orchestra. He also had a close muscial relationship with Billie Holiday, whom he regularly backed.
Check out the Mingus tribute here: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.