Holiday And Mulligan

Yesterday was Gerry Mulligan’s birthday (1927-1996). Today is Billie Holiday’s (1915-1959). If only there were video of them together.
There is, of course; one of the most famous pieces of film ever made of a jazz performance. It is from the kinescope recording of the 1957 CBS-TV program The Sound of Jazz. “Fine and Mellow” featured Holiday with a group of horn soloists for which the designation All-Stars seems barely adequate. Holiday’s choruses of her classic blues alternate with solos by Ben Webster, Lester Young in an inexpressibly moving reunion with Holiday, Vic Dickenson, Mulligan, Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge. The muted trumpet obbligato is by Doc Cheatham. Seeing this every so often is like revisiting a great painting. Its depth grows with each viewing.

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