Black Tie White Noise album coverWritten by: David Bowie, Nile Rodgers
Recorded: June-September 1992
Producers: David Bowie, Nile Rodgers

Released: 5 April 1993

Available on:
Black Tie White Noise
All Saints


David Bowie: saxophone
Lester Bowie: trumpet
Nile Rodgers: guitar
Barry Campbell/John Regan: bass guitar
Mike Garson: piano
Richard Hilton, Dave Richards, Philippe Saisse, Richard Tee: keyboards
Unknown: trumpets, trombones

The instrumental ‘Looking For Lester’ is the tenth track on David Bowie’s 18th studio album, 1993’s Black Tie White Noise.

The track is primarily a showcase for the talents of Lester Bowie, the American jazz trumpeter who appeared on several of the album’s songs. The two Bowies trade trumpet and saxophone lines during the track, which also features Mike Garson, formerly of the Spiders From Mars.

Lester Bowie wasn’t in the session I was on, but I played to a track he had recorded on [‘Looking For Lester’]. I wish I had played it better. I was trying to aspire to an Aladdin Sane kind of level and I couldn’t get there. Part of it was maybe I was in a jazz [phase] and wasn’t really thinking about David’s music. Part of it was that I wasn’t there for the band when they played it live.
Mike Garson
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)

The title ‘Looking For Lester’ was intended to emulate John Coltrane’s ‘Chasing The Trane’, according to a 1993 interview with the NME. The track was co-written by Nile Rodgers, whose contribution was not acknowledged on the original pressing of the album.

Lester Bowie came in for a couple of days. They took a couple of Bowie brothers pictures together. Lester was a blast – he comes in and he was just completely comfortable and cool and quirky. It was so much fun. We also had a guy come in, Chico O’Farrill, the Cuban jazz arranger. There were big band-y charts on ‘Looking For Lester’.
Richard Hilton, keyboards
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)

The vinyl edition of Black Tie White Noise omitted the tracks ‘The Wedding‘ and ‘Looking For Lester’.

The third and final single from Black Tie White Noise was ‘Miracle Goodnight’, issued on 11 October 1993. The 7″ single had ‘Looking For Lester’ on the b-side.

‘Looking For Lester’ was included on Bowie’s 1993 privately-pressed compilation All Saints. When the album went on general release in 2001 as All Saints: Collected Instrumentals 1977–1999, it omitted the track, along with ‘South Horizon’, ‘The Wedding’, and ‘Pallas Athena’.