Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Quintessential Billie Holiday Vol 9
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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F. Barton | Newport, WA USA | 11/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are MANY box sets, of Lady Day that do NOT include this material. Many stop with 1940. Many. This one start where those leave off, and besides is probably one of the most played single CD of Billie that I play, and I have 58! "In A Low Down Groove" will take you places you've never been, as it completely engulfs you with all her magic, "Jim" so perfectly suited for her voice, "Love Me or Leave Me" with the rarely sung verse, is an incredible find. All the songs are remastered incredibly, and again, for the most part not on box sets! Get this CD for a Billie Lover, they will LOVE it. Even if they have lots, they probably don't have these, as after '42, the recording ban was on. So these are true gems, for a first CD, or a great one to a fan, this one is pure gold!"
A wonderful sample of Billie Holiday's best work.
bluemamma | San Luis Obispo, CA USA | 08/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been in love with the sound of Billie HolidayÕs voice for decades, and own several now out-of-print collections of her work on vinyl. But I put off buying anything by her on CD, mainly because I wasnÕt sure where to begin. I knew I would be wasting my money on any one or two disk "best of" collection, because Holiday simply made many more brilliant recordings than you can squeeze into a couple of disks.Then I discovered this series Ð nine volumes of songs she recorded between 1933 and 1942, from her first record, with Benny GoodmanÕs Orchestra, to the peak of her powers. Of course, nine CDs is a lot of music, and a lot of money Ð too much for a one-time purchase. So IÕm buying the whole series bit by bit over time. I started with this one, and having now bought four of the nine volumes, I still think this is one of the best, and a great place to begin exploring HolidayÕs work.I donÕt think you can choose a "best" CD in the series, but this one is fabulous. Of its eighteen tracks, at least a dozen are classic, must-have performances. "Georgia On My Mind," "God Bless The Child," "Am I Blue?" "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" Ð these are some of the best recordings Billie Holiday made, some of the best performances any singer has ever given.Of course, two of the worst songs she ever recorded are also on this disk. "Wherever You Are" is a piece of World War II patriotism better suited to Kate Smith than Billie Holiday. Historically interesting, but still a lousy song. And "Mandy Is Two" is so sappy and sweet it could give you diabetes. But with a singer of HolidayÕs caliber, even dreadful songs are interesting to listen to.And the good ones (or even the mediocre ones Ð Billie Holiday could get more out of a so-so song that most singers could out of brilliant ones) are stunners. Someone once said that the worse Billie Holiday felt, the better she sang. ThereÕs a lot of truth in that, and this CD has several of her most beautiful heartbreakers. But I think sheÕs even better on songs where she seems to be singing two emotions at the same time, or at cross-purposes to the spirit of the lyrics. "Romance In The Dark," for example, is a cheerful little love song, but thereÕs a touch of sadness in BillieÕs voice that tells you she does not believe for an instant that the romance is going to last. On the other hand, she sings all the sadness in the old torch song "Am I Blue?Õ but like the best blues singers, sheÕs got anger and determination in her voice, too. She may be blue, but you hear her pulling herself out of it as she sings.Every half-decent female singer who comes along gets compared to Billie Holiday, but few have sung with either the intensity or the emotional complexity she did. This album is a great sample of her artistry."
Wonderfully Warm and Clear Billie
Peter | East of Los Angeles | 02/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD no doubt has found its way to many homes because of the classic tracks "God Bless the Child", "I Cover the Waterfront", and "Solitude", the first time Billie waxes these, even before she recorded definitive versions for Decca. Yet I find her versions here more fresh and moving compared to her 1940's version. Her voice sounds fresh, still undeterred by her drug habit, which would unfortunately pick up in a few years. Throughout Billie's recording career, nowhere have I found her more soulful, moving, warm and soothing than the sides she waxes for this volume. Recording quality is beyond reproach, it is clear and full, just like Billie's voice. I wish her voice had kept these qualities of warmth and clarity for much longer before her drug habits kicked in. These are beautiful performances captured in a nostaglic time in American history (World War II). If it hasn't found its way yet to your CD player, it should. Be prepared that no real swingers are on this volume, most of the tracks are medium to slow tempo. Only track that gets the feet moving is "Let's Do It". Billie by this time had found the way to your ears was thru your heart. Listen to this CD on a rainy day in front of the fireplace or with a significant other on a romantic evening. It should put you in the mood for love."