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Commodore Master Takes
     

The Commodore Master Takes

by Billie Holiday
 
If you're a completist who insists on having everything that Billie Holiday recorded, The Complete Commodore Recordings is required listening. But for the more casual listener, it's best to pass on that two-CD set and stick with The Commodore Master Takes. While The Complete Commodore Recordings contains all of the alternate takes that Holiday

Overview

If you're a completist who insists on having everything that Billie Holiday recorded, The Complete Commodore Recordings is required listening. But for the more casual listener, it's best to pass on that two-CD set and stick with The Commodore Master Takes. While The Complete Commodore Recordings contains all of the alternate takes that Holiday recorded for Commodore in 1939 and 1944, this collection only concerns itself with the master takes (which total 16). Holiday never singed an exclusive contract with Commodore -- she only freelanced for the label, and the ultra-influential jazz singer spent a lot more time recording for Columbia in the 1930s and early 1940s, and for Decca from 1944-1950. But her Commodore output was first-rate, and Lady Day excels whether she's joined by trumpeter Frankie Newton's octet at a 1939 session or by pianist Eddie Heywood's orchestra at three sessions in 1944. The CD gets off to an impressive start with the controversial "Strange Fruit," a bone-chilling account of lynching in the Deep South that ended up being released on Commodore because Columbia was afraid to touch it. Holiday is also quite expressive on performances that range from "Fine and Mellow," "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" and "Yesterdays" in 1939 to "My Old Flame," "Billie's Blues," "I'll Be Seeing You," and "He's Funny That Way" in 1944. For those with even a casual interest in Holiday's legacy, this superb CD is essential listening.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2000
Label:
Polygram Records
UPC:
0731454327220
catalogNumber:
543272

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billie Holiday   Primary Artist,Vocals
Eddie Heywood   Piano
Tab Smith   Alto Saxophone
Frankie Newton   Trumpet
Big Sid Catlett   Drums
Doc Cheatham   Trumpet
Lem Davis   Alto Saxophone
Vic Dickenson   Trombone
Eddie Dougherty   Drums
John Simmons   Bass
Teddy Walters   Guitar
Sonny White   Piano
John Williams [double bass]   Bass
Kenneth Hollon   Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy McLin   Guitar

Technical Credits

Eddie Heywood   Arranger
Billie Holiday   Composer
Milt Gabler   Producer
Orrin Keepnews   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Hollis King   Art Direction
JoDee Stringham   Graphic Design
Lewis Allan   Composer
Herman Hupfeld   Composer

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