BLACK VOICES

The Stacks: Billie Holiday: Jazz's Aching Songbird

Billie Holiday poses for a studio portrait in 1943 in the United States. (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)
Billie Holiday poses for a studio portrait in 1943 in the United States. (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)

Dizzy Gillespie's big band, at Birdland in New York. Coming down the stairs I heard a crackling, stunning trumpet cadenza, brilliant in content as well as in its reckless virtuosity. And yet it wasn't Dizzy. I looked at the stand and there was a teenager from Philadelphia, Lee Morgan, for whom Dizzy had just opened the door to the Big Apple.

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