Lady Sings the Blues was Billie Holiday’s last album for producer Norman Granz’ Clef Records & Verve Records. The sessions were recorded during 1954 and 1956, and released late in 1956 in conjunction with her autobiography of the same name.
Holiday is in top form, backed by many jazz greats including tenor saxophonists Budd Johnson and Paul Quinichette, trumpeters Charlie Shavers and Harry “Sweets” Edison, pianist Wynton Kelly, and guitarist Kenny Burrell. These autumnal sides bear the frayed vocal moments that brought so much depth to Lady’s late career. The album ranks with her best material, especially the cuts from a June 1956 date, which produced unparalleled versions of “No Good Man,” “Some Other Spring,” and “Good Morning Hearthache” and “Lady Sings the Blues.” In a 1956 review, Down Beat praised the album giving it 5 out of 5 stars saying:
“Lady Sings The Blues is Billie Holiday’s autobiography. And she tries to get the reader on her side of the mirror.”