Lazy Lester, EJBF 2012, Review
The Spiegel Tent in George Square was honoured to have the one and only Lazy Lester in residence last night as part of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.
At 79 - something he reminds the audience of frequently - the man, formerly known as Leslie Johnson, is a byword for longevity on the New Orleans jazz scene. He's played with most of the heavy-weights in the game during his sixty–year career, and there’s no denying the skill and inherent knowledge.
Lester was accompanied by The John Bruce Band, with whom he recorded the award-winning Lazy Lester Rides Again. Together they played a varied selection of blues, rock and roll and country music.
At times it appeared the pre-arranged set would be tossed out the window in favour of whatever Lester was thinking of at the time. While not a bad thing, it left the audience to what felt more like an informal jam session than an out and out concert of his works.
He displayed a unique style and undeniable skill with the harmonica and guitar. Lazy Lester also brought his 79 years worth of stage charm and regaled the audience with his particular take on life.
His casual back and forth chit chat with fellow band mates and members of the crowd gave a glimpse into the man who has survived six decades of extravagance and come through it still smiling.