Billie Holiday–Fine and Mellow

Billie Holiday was a jazz singer and songwriter. This video is an excerpt from a live television performance she did for “Sound of Jazz” on CBS in 1957. Nat Hentoff, writing for NPR, says that “Fine and Mellow…may be the only blues song she ever wrote, although the language of the blues, the texture of the blues, the cry of the blues was always part of what she did.”

Source:
Nat Hentoff’s article “Fine and Mellow”
http://www.npr.org/2000/04/10/1072753/fine-and-mellow

Charlie Parker–Bird/The Savoy Recordings

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz describes saxophonist Charlie Parker as “one of the most influential improvising soloists in jazz.” This album, titled after Parker’s nickname “bird” or “yardbird,” is the product of several recording sessions throughout the 1940s and includes performances by Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.

Sources:
Biography of Charlie Parker, PBS.com
http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/artist_id_parker_charlie.htm
Scott Yanow’s review of Bird/The Savoy Recordings, Allmusic.com
http://www.allmusic.com/album/bird-the-savoy-recordings-master-takes-mw0000902994