Instruments: Alto Sax, Clarinet, Baritone Sax
Date of Birth: December 8, 1904
Place of Birth: Tuskegee, Alabama

Studied with Professor Tuttle at Illinois College of Music. Played club dates in and around Chicago, then joined trumpeter Alex Calemese at Jeffery Tavern, Chicagoduring same year worked with Charlie Elgar. Later worked with Clarence Black, Carroll Dickerson, Earl Hines (1930), Jerome Carrington, and Louis Armstrong (from March 1931). Left Louis in March 1932, remained in New York, worked with Kaiser Marshall's Band and Billy Maples, then joined the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1933). During 1934 with Eubie Blake's Orchestra and Willie Bryant, then a spell at Savoy, New York, with Hy Clark's Band. with Kaiser Marshall's Band from May 1935. In 1936 worked with Jelly Roll Morton and Jean Calloway, with Cliff Jackson in 1937. With Hot Lips Page and Eddie South (in New York and Chicago) during the late 1930s. In 1940 led own band at Hollywood Club, New York a spell with Leon Abbey, then led own quartet at 44 Club, New York. From 1948 through the 1960s has led own small group at Harvey's and at the Lucky Bar in New York.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Some jazz musicians were lucky enough to have performed with jazz giant Louis Armstrong, while only a few experienced the honor of having the great Satchmo personally introduce their solo in that unmistakable growly voice of his. The versatile reed player Lester Boone is one of this lucky little group and the performance in question is a version of "I Got Rhythm" originally cut for Okeh. This might be Boone's most auspicious credit, but it is far, far from his only one. He studied at the Illinois College of Music while playing his first professional jobs in clubs around the Windy City with players such as trumpeter Alex Calamese,Charlie Elgar, Clarence Black, and Carroll Dickerson. His first series of big jobs began with monster pianist and bandleaderEarl Hines in 1928, and he worked off and on in various groups led by Hines through 1930. Satchmo came into the picture early in the '30s, but by the middle of that decade he had left the trumpeter's employment to collaborate with one of his former drummers, hi-hat innovator Kaiser Marshall, and then the Mills Blue Rhythm Band in 1933. The next year, he joined the orchestra of ragtime and swing piano man Eubie Blake and was also gigging with Willie Bryant. More jobs with Marshall followed, then a run with Jelly Roll Morton in 1936 and Cliff Jackson in 1937. Bouncing between New York and Chicago, Boone also worked with trumpeter Hot Lips Page and Eddie South. The picture should be getting clear that this was an extremely versatile, in-demand sideman, although not known as a flamboyant soloist. He also fit in his first jobs as a leader during the early '40s, most notably a run at the Hollywood Club. In 1941, he began a relationship with jazz singerBillie Holiday and managed to play enough of her recording sessions to warrant credits on some dozen of her album releases and re-releases. Because of his membership in so many bands, Boone also is very likely to turn up on a wide variety of compilations in the swing jazz and classic blues genres. From the late '40s into the '60s, he confined his activities mostly to New York, leading groups at venues such as Harvey's and the Lucky Bar. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi


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