Billy Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life

The gospel-influenced and classically-trained pianist and composer is in renaissance of interest and celebration thanks to the establishment of Billy Strayhorn Songs in 1997. The family-owned company's efforts include marking the centennial of his birth in 2015. The Bill Strayhorn Foundation, Inc's is committed to deepening appreciation for jazz music in general, starting with Strayhorn. Now longtime fans and new discoverers can enjoy Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life, a fine biographical coffee table book available from Bolden Books/Agate Publishing in Chicago.

Toni Morrison and Boy George Cover Billie Holiday

Morrison has proved to be the most thorough documentarian of African-American female existence in all its forms: in the womb, baby, child, girl, woman, senior, from the afterlife. The mantra of "God bless the child..." is actually her most consistent answer to black women. Enjoy Holiday's original version, as well as a neat cover by Boy George and Micah Paris.