Gerald | St. Petersburg, FL USA | 05/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"May be the greatest album ever recorded. Witness the myriad of releases over the years. It is a treasure for the ages. Each remastering brings us closer to the soul of the great Billie Holiday. Even Ray Ellis took a while to warm up to it. But like Shakespeare and fine scotch, give it time and you will be rewarded with greatness."
DAVID HALL | USA | 12/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The very first instant I ever heard the voice of Billie Holiday was on YOU'VE CHANGED from the album LADY IN SATIN. I was completely unprepared. Never had listened to Jazz. Never, for an instant, had I suspected that a singer singing a song could create in me what I was experiencing as I listened to this voice. It seemed to me that with the onset of the sound of her voice I entered a realm of experience that until that very moment I never knew existed. I'd been missing something without knowing what it was; was lonely for something or because of something, again, without knowing what it was. And then there it was, the sound of this voice and what it was expressing, and suddenly, I was transported into the pulsating heartbreaking land of .... INTIMACY .... VULNERABILITY .... and that mysterious, infinitely complex thing called .... LOVE. I happened to be watching an actress perform a monologue on-stage in a theatre when this took place. In it, the actress turned on a record player before she began to speak, and this music began. And from the instant it did everything but this voice and what it was singing about, instantly vanished. It was as though up to that very moment I'd been living in a fog, and with the beginning of Billie Holiday singing YOU'VE CHANGED - the fog lifted. For the first time I saw that there was more to life, more to emotions, more to pain than I'd ever had the courage to open myself up to - and mostly, more to the life I was living than I'd ever imagined there was. This album, LADY IN SATIN, is, from beginning to end - a work of genius. Billie Holiday is the singer. Ray Ellis is the arranger and conductor of The Ray Ellis Orchestra. There are thirteen songs on the album, picked by Ms. Holiday, some of them suggested (also) by her attorney, Earle Zaidins. They couldn't be more perfect for what she needed to express at this moment in her life. And she knew it. I wonder if she also knew she had only seventeen months to live after finishing this album? Can't help but wonder about that .... ? Some people feel she did her best work as a singer earlier in her career. And that, when she made this album she was played out .... worn out .... destroyed by the life she'd lived. I don't feel that way. This is the album in which her gifts as a vocal artist are purified, hallowed .... HOLY. There is nothing between her heart, her vulnerability, and that of the listener. I dare you to listen to this album and not feel. Dare you to listen and NOT care about what it is to be alive .... to be human .... to own & be aware of feelings. I defy your heart to be exposed to this album and NOT be penetrated by this .... LADY IN SATIN."