with Count Basie, Red Allen, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Milt Hinton and Jimmy Giuffre
The Sound of Jazz, a one-hour, broadcast on December 8, 1957, is an absolute must for any jazz fan, because it allows us to see “Fine and Mellow,” the best of the very few video performances available from the incomparable Billie Holiday. Holiday had been a heroin addict nearly all of her adult life, but somehow, with less than two years to live, she still looks great.
Sitting comfortably on a stool, she almost seems to be talking rather than singing, but she delivers an emotional impact that leaves all her would-be competitors in the dust. It’s Billie first, and the rest nowhere. It’s not just that she’s the best, it’s that no one else even comes close.
The rest of the telecast features mostly swing-era musicians, including an all-star version of the Count Basie Band that features three of the greatest tenors of the Swing Era, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, and Lester Young. Hawkins comes close to stealing the spotlight from Billie, turning in one powerful solo after another in a variety of groups.
|Brand||Vintage Jazz Classics|
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