Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Billie Holiday, Lester Young: Fine and Mellow (1957)

My favorite jazz duo of all time has to be Billie Holiday and Lester Young. I swear there was something magical in the way the mellow tone of his saxophone mixed with the melancholy in her voice. In the next couple weeks, in honor of Black History Month, I'll write a bit about some new Lester Young and Billie Holiday live and rare recordings that were released last month.

But to start things off, here's a great video of Billie Holiday singing "Fine and Mellow" in 1957. Lester Young is the second sax solo (though he's missing his signature pork pie hat). The rest of the amazing line-up of musicians includes: Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Gerry Mulligan, Roy Eldridge, Doc Cheatham, Vic Dickenson, Danny Barker, Milt Hinton, and Mal Waldron. It doesn't really get much better than that...

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