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Billie was never only bitter or only playful or only love-struck or only love-lost. She was a multi-dimensional woman, and she'd experienced more than enough to know how many shades of grey one experiences in an hour or a day.
She was able to tell more meaningful and more perenially evocative stories than any of her contemporaries.
Highly expressive, almost visual ballads went hand in hand with Billie Holiday's life and voice.....
Like no other singer, Billie Holiday revived the most famous songs of the American '30s and '40s show business era. The composers of these recordings in 1955 Los Angeles for the Norman Granz Clef label are from the second rank of musical and songwriters apart from Duke Ellington.
Little need be said of the performances themselves. Place the disc on your turntable; Sit back and listen to old tunes that become new in Billie's hands; commonplace ballads that become unique.
Small jazz groups brought out the best in Billie Holiday - especially groups as good as the one heard on this classic 1957 recording. Ben Webster, Harry 'Sweets' Edison and the other members of this stellar ensemble were not just gifted soloists but sensitive accompanists as well.
Remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London.
Jazz, a product of so many things – musical evolution, the social scene of a particular time, the economic atmosphere of the moment, what somebody had for breakfast that day – and none of those things will ever come together again as they did when these records were made.
Billie had an opportunity to sing her old songs once again and record them for posterity in the very best sound quality.