Rare Tunes Make This Worthwhile
Peter | East of Los Angeles | 12/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally I would have only rated this CD 3 stars, maybe even less, but the inclusion of several rare recordings elevates this to 4-star status. 9 tracks are live and taken from her Euro tour in early '54. While Billie sounds sublime, she is overwhelmed at times by an over-active bass during the concert. Unless you're a hyper-bass freak, this really becomes annoying. Billie is not well served by loud piano playing either. She obviously needs someone with the deft touch of a Teddy Wilson or Oscar Peterson. It is, however, the inclusion of 4 blues tunes recorded in '51 and her famous, long-associated tunes of "Detour Ahead" and "Travelin' Light" that make this a collector's dream. The latter mentioned track is for me the highlight of the entire CD, showing the grace and mesmerizing spell Billie can put you under. The blues songs put her in a more rough-hewn light but she handles them well. If Blue Note had only done a better job remastering the live tracks, this would have been unequivocally a collector's item, but it's worth getting for Billie Die-Hards."
Billie for the Interested
Hulki Okan Tabak | Istanbul Turkey | 02/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Travelling back in time to focus on a outstanding musician that you like is very different from following a current one as you have a host of albums to dig into alongside another vast collection of best ofs. Billie Holiday is splendid voice and this in an interesting album for those who want to chronicle through her times as a singer. However, I reckon that there are compilations that better serve to introduce Billie more thoroughly. This one is ineed a gem for the avid listener, but not satisfactory for the casualy interested."