LADY SINGS THE BLUES
For more years than the great Billie Holiday sang the same material, the outstanding West Bromwich-born singer Val Wiseman has toured with Lady Sings the Blues. Over the years the show has been recorded twice. Of the first album Benny Green opined that sometimes the performances even surpassed the originals. The second, much praised album, Laughing at Life, was recorded live three years ago at the Birmingham Jazz Festival. The success of the show is easily explained. The programme is balanced throughout the whole of Billie’s career and gives as much time to the exuberantly cheerful as to the heart-breakingly tragic; Val herself is an incomparable interpreter of the songs; and the band has always been of the highest standard. With Lady Sings the Blues throughout its more than 30 year existence have been Digby Fairweather on trumpet, Roy Williams on trombone and bassist Len Skeat. Pianist Brian Dee, saxist/clarinettist Alan Barnes and drummer Eric Ford complete a stable and highly talented line-up.