Search - Lester Young :: Rare Live Recordings, 1934-1959

Rare Live Recordings, 1934-1959
Lester Young
Rare Live Recordings, 1934-1959
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (30) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (31) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #5

"The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever." -- All Music Guide "Considered by many to be the greate...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Lester Young
Title: Rare Live Recordings, 1934-1959
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Esp Disk Ltd.
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 12/4/2007
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Swing Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaCD Credits: 5
UPC: 825481040396


Album Description
"The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever." -- All Music Guide "Considered by many to be the greatest jazz vocalist of all time, Billie Holiday lived a tempestuous and difficult life. Her singing expressed an incredible depth of emotion that spoke of hard times and injustice as well as triumph. Though her career was relatively short and often erratic, she left behind a body of work as great as any vocalist before or since." --, "American Masters" A five-CD compilation of extremely rare live performance recordings from 1935-1959, plus a detailed liner timeline of performance information. In 1972, thirteen years after her death, Congress extended copyright protections to include recorded musical performances. Billie Holiday would have benefited greatly from such protection: during the more than twenty-five years of her career, Holiday gave an unknown number of live performances on TV & radio and in clubs & concert halls, many of which were recorded both officially and unofficially by sound engineers, fellow musicians, and fans. Today ESP-Disk', which for many years has been assembling unofficial recordings of several artists from before 1972, has released one of the most comprehensive collections of live Billie Holiday recordings to date, some previously available but most not. These recordings, laid out in chronologicalorder, not only demonstrate the arc of Holiday's development as a vocalist but give a rare behind-the-scenes look into how the singer approached her musicians and her audience. The first disc of this compilation opens with a twenty-year-old Billie Holiday performing with Duke Ellington in 1935, followed by a radio broadcast from the Savoy Hotel in New York two years later in which Holiday fronts the Count Basie Orchestra. The next four discs cover Holiday's career from 1949 to her death in 1959. During those ten years, advancesin radio and TV technology changed the way Americans consumed entertainment, and the mass proliferation of recorded media from that time leaves us with dozens of examples of Holiday's live performances. Set in the context of other early recorded media presentations, it is easy to imagine how revolutionary Holiday's singing sounded to mainstream American audiences, with her plaintive voice, blues inflections, and uncensored delivery. This magnificent set includes a portfolio of photographs and performance data detailing a historical timeline of rare radio/television broadcasts and concert performances--and the events and situations that lead to these powerful performances--along with explanations of some of her most popular material. The set also includes a rare and private recordingof she and some friends in an impromptu setting, with Holiday singing "My Yiddisha Mamma."

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CD Reviews

Poor production values for a CD set of this price
Michael Beane | Chicago, IL USA | 05/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This comment is about the packaging, not the music. (Some of the music is pretty scratchy but it's always great to hear Billie). I was expecting more given the price. The 5 CDs come in a standard double sized CD case. The booklet is divided in two at the midpoint so each half fits in one side of the case. The liner notes are a jumble of short session notes and asides such as "Billie's Husband Is Arrested 1942", with little organization or perspective. There are a total of six pictures. Overall the liner notes look like a homework assignment typed on the last surviving typewriter. The price led me to expect a meticulous effort. This is more like something advertised on TV at 2 a.m.
Billy holiday rare recordings
lola riviera | california | 03/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

Some recordings were excellent, others were of very poor quality and should have been re-done before selling to the public or not be included if this was not possible. In retrospect it was worth the "price of admission" to again listen to her and to some numbers we hadn't heard her sing before."
Couldn't ask for more....
R. French | Englewood, CO | 04/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It was stated in a previous review that the music should have been re-mastered but I couldn't disagree more.

Part of the beauty of this set is that the music is presented in it's original quailty. While sometimes lacking, it gives you a better "feel" for the time the music was recorded. For me, it's about the experience of the time, not trying to retrofit it to my liking.

There are many duplicate songs but Ms. Holiday does a little something different each time she belts out a song. If you are a Billie Holiday fan, this is a collection that you should have."