Brilliant day in Philly with summer bowing out  in visual majesty-  the bluest of blue skies, sunseared skylines and clear air- as I fled through in a late afternoon bike tour on the skirts of CC.   

Peaceful vistas and peaceful minds too at a busy City Central Library where I was able to have a few minutes with jazz vocalist Mary Ellen Desmond who is coordinating Fine and Mellow | Lady Day Remembered in Song | A Philadelphia Tribute, on Oct 4 at St. Luke Church in the gayborhood, for a 50th year observance of the singer’s death. 

Desmond spoke about Billie’s indelible legacy, beyond her greatest hits catalogue,  for three generations of singers starting with Frank Sinatra, who said Holiday was his biggest influence.  “She changed the template for all of us.”  Desmond said.   A fine line up of Billie’s artistic descendants- vocalists and musicians- based in Philly are performing, which will be hosted by jazz radio legend Bob Perkins, who knew the singer. 

Billie was born in Philadelphia while her mother was visiting here, but actually grew up in Baltimore.   Yet she was very tied to the jazz clubs here, all gone now, throughout her career.  Got lost in Holiday memories after my interview with Mary Ellen and even dug out my recording of ‘Lady in Autumn’ to completely do myself in for the evening.