Friday, June 19

"Fine and Mellow" - Billie Holiday (1957)

"... The show’s performance of 'Fine and Mellow' reunited Billie Holiday with her estranged long-time friend and stirring collaborator Lester Young for the final time. Jazz critic Nat Hentoff, who was involved in the show, recalled that during rehearsals, they kept to opposite sides of the room. Young was very weak, and Hentoff told him to skip the big band section of the show and that he could sit while performing in the group with Holiday. During the performance of 'Fine and Mellow', Webster played the first solo. 'Then', Hentoff remembered: Lester got up, and he played the purest blues I have ever heard, and [he and Holiday] were looking at each other, their eyes were sort of interlocked, and she was sort of nodding and half–smiling. It was as if they were both remembering what had been—whatever that was. And in the control room we were all crying. When the show was over, they went their separate ways. Within two years, both Young and Holiday had died."
Fine and Mellow » Billie Holiday
YouTube: Fine and mellow (1957)

2010 April: Billie Holiday, 2014 December: "Strange Fruit" (1939), 2015 February: The Hunting of Billie Holiday