The relationship between Lester and Billie was nothing but special. Here is an excerpt from Nat Hentoff’s Memoir, Boston Boy, (pg 127.) describing the two playing together.
It was time for Prez…If he got up, he might collapse on prime time. But when the moment came, Prez stood and, Looking at Lady, played in one chorus- its colors those of twilight in October- the sparest, most penetrating blues I have ever heard. Billie, a slight smile on her face, kept nodding to the beat, her eyes meeting Prez’s, her nod invoking memories only she and Prez shared. As he ended his solo, Lady’s face was full of light and love, and Prez, briefly, was back in the world.
Happy Birthday Billie Holiday, April 7, 1915. I hope by the time we are celebrating her centenary, we can celebrate the completion of this Pres movie.
Here is the last time Pres and Lady Day ever performed together.