Lester Young and Billie Holiday had a true friendship off the stage that was obvious in what they did together on the stage. In fact, even their famous nicknames were gifts of friendship. Lester gave Holiday her nickname, Lady Day, and she returned the favor with Prez (“President”).
Watch Holiday’s face when Young begins playing at about the 2 minute mark of this video. It is a look that says all that needs to be said about what other jazz legends thought about Lester Young as an artist.