Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol.8: 1939-1940
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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Similarly Requested CDs
Entering Her Torch Period
Peter | East of Los Angeles | 02/06/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By the time these sides were waxed, Billie was performing nightly at Cafe Society, one of her first major gigs, and singing her signature song, "Strange Fruit". What emerges from these sides is a torchy Billie, perhaps influenced by the success of "Strange Fruit", a song known for its graphic lyrics and slow pace. We don't know if that song influenced Billie's upcoming style or her selection of slowburners, but what emerges on this CD is Billie, the Torch-Chanteuse in the making. Gone for the most part on this Quintessential set are the fast songs a la "I Cried For You" and "What A Little Moonlight Can Do" from just a few years back. Only "Them There Eyes" here unequivocally qualifies as a "fast" track. Sound quality is very good compared to Volumes 1-4, perhaps due to the improvements made in recording technology, though hisses are still evident. If you enjoy Billie's voice in a slow tempo with good songs, I would recommend this volume. Her voice is still in very much peak..."
Cole Porter classics with Lady Day
J. A. Neptune | 05/19/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are so many Billie Holiday albums, repackaging and reselling the same songs, that its daunting to try to figure out the best. My vote (and many other folks) stands with the "Quintessential" and "Decca" series. And the best of those series has to be volume 8.The trio of the opening songs of this album is incredible. She sings "Them There Eyes" lovely and sweet. I've heard her do bluesier version, and have appreciated those as well, but there's just something about her gleefully singing, "sparkle/bubble/get you in a lot of trouble/something about them eyes." I didn't appreciate "Swing, Brother, Swing" at first listen, and now it's one of my favorite Billie Holiday songs. The horn solo perfectly complements her performance. The spirit of the song has her bossing around the band, fierce and free. For a woman as tortured as Billie, it's great to hear her voicing such assertion. "Night and Day" transports the listener to a soft, moonlit space, filled only with the trickling chords and melody of Cole Porter's classic.These songs, taken from her days as a nightclub performer, are at times innocent and sultry. Ignore the rambling commentary in the CD -- the reviewer seems to hate every tune for its "inauthenticity". Instead, pull this CD out on a too-hot summer afternoon, open the windows of your apartment wide, and look out onto the baking city streets (or whatever your equivalent would be). Holiday's gorgeous voice will float around and through you like magic."
Like a slowly-opening rose
S. Isaacs | Denver, CO | 11/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was my introduction to Billie, nearly ten years ago. Although I haven't purchased any more of her music since, I'm keeping this album forever. Funny that the reviewer below said to play it during a hot summer afternoon; my experience is playing it soft and low on a chilly romantic evening. Either way, what a stunning selection of songs -- and Billie handles them so well! She doesn't have the most technically perfect voice, but damn...such genuine emotion, it's like the song, the person, and the emotion have melded into one. Every time I listen, there are more and more details and lyrics that I missed before...and once-favorite songs get supplanted by new ones all the time. This is a wonderful place to start, though I'm sure that you could start with any of the albums in this series and begin a life-long love affair with Billie just as easily."