To celebrate her extraordinary life and achievements, this programme brings together four living jazz musicians and the author of a recent biography to appraise Billie Holiday’s hectic life and jazz legacy through the prism of one historic 12-bar blues.
The song ‘Fine & Mellow’, which she wrote herself, was recorded in 1957 with an all-star backing band that included her friends Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Vic Dickenson, Roy Eldridge and Gerry Mulligan.
The programme is introduced by saxophonist Andy Sheppard, and also features expert commentaries from band leader Guy Barker, singers Cleo Laine and Jacqui Dankworth, and Julia Blackburn, author of ‘With Billie’.
Devised and produced by Tony Staveacre, for BBC Radio 4
Listen here: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pn3t6