Thank You Lady Day (Flash Reflection On Greatness)
Billie Holiday introduced me to vocal jazz and I thank her for it to this day - and so should you,
Is her voice polished? No. Is her voice powerful? No. Is her voice her own? Yes. And that's what set her apart from most other singers of her (and any) era. Bessie Smith comes in a close second in my book but the passion that Lady Day pours into God Bless The Child and Strange Fruit is...just beyond! Even lighthearted tunes like My Mother's Son-in-Law become something more special than the writer's intent because the words are flowing from the lips of Holiday.
She led a flawed life and often gave into her demons but somehow she knew what she was doing the whole time. Even when those demons finally took her she left something more than her shadow behind. She left a legacy we can all bask in even all these years later.
Thank you, Lady Day. Always.