Billy Lester
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Highlands Magazine #92 Monday, July 23 2018

Highlands Magazine #92 Monday, July 23 2018

January 6, 2009

Billy Lester is a pianist who goes where other ianists don’t – deep into song’s essential structures, which he then probes and opens for what new they have to offer. To my ears, he comes out of Lennie Tristano with enormous regard for Tristano’s follower Sal Mosca, and approaches some of the same territory as Thelonious Monk, though form his own direction and to his own unique destinations. Wit, warmth, curousity and devotion to the pursuit of unlikely  beauty drive Lester’s improvisations on classic American themes, which he ends up almost totally recomposing. He’s a musician to discover and savor for sounding like nobody else.

– Howard Mandel, Down Beat senior contributor, National Public arts reporter, blogger at

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