billie jazz


I was lucky to spend so much of my own time with so many great people. I spent a day with Billie Holiday in her garden level apartment on Central Park West. I brought my 3 year old daughter Leslie. I have a picture of Leslie on Billie’s lap while Billie is comforting her because she had a splinter or something. She was a lovely person, not at all the bitch that some have portrayed her to be. She had a collection of ivory elephants and told my daughter to go and pick out whatever one she wanted and she could keep it. Leslie has it to this day. I told Billie, “enough with the formal pictures” and we walked over to Central Park and I snapped some shots against some pine trees. She let me do whatever I wanted and these are some of the finest things I’ve done. She was lovely.
- Burt Goldblatt on photographing Billie Holiday, 1958