The Definitive Collection [Verve]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Since the range of recording dates for Verve Records' Billie Holiday compilation The Definitive Collection stretches from her first session in 1935 to her last in 1958, it might be supposed that the album attempts to live up to its ambitious name. In fact, however, this disc is really a selection of 18 highlights from the portion of Holiday's catalog controlled by Verve's parent company, Universal Music, which is to say her work for Commodore, Decca, Clef, and Verve itself between 1939 and 1956, with a couple of tracks licensed from her mid-'30s work for Brunswick (now owned by Sony BMG); a track she recorded under a pseudonym for Capitol (now controlled by EMI) in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Since the range of recording dates for Verve Records' Billie Holiday compilation The Definitive Collection stretches from her first session in 1935 to her last in 1958, it might be supposed that the album attempts to live up to its ambitious name. In fact, however, this disc is really a selection of 18 highlights from the portion of Holiday's catalog controlled by Verve's parent company, Universal Music, which is to say her work for Commodore, Decca, Clef, and Verve itself between 1939 and 1956, with a couple of tracks licensed from her mid-'30s work for Brunswick (now owned by Sony BMG); a track she recorded under a pseudonym for Capitol (now controlled by EMI) in 1942; and a track from her final album, Lady in Satin, released by Columbia (another Sony BMG label). Although the bulk of these performances date from the '40s, the chronological sequence gives a sense of Holiday's vocal development over the years, as her craft improved and the technical quality of her voice deteriorated. Many of her better-known songs are included, with the caveat that "God Bless the Child," "Billie's Blues," "Easy Living," "Solitude," "My Man," and "I Cover the Waterfront" are re-recordings. (Annotator Bill Dahl states the case made by some listeners that the later versions are superior to the earlier ones.) Absent a merger of the remaining major record labels, it may be impossible to attempt a comprehensive, not to mention "definitive," collection of Holiday's career peaks on a single disc. This one is not a bad attempt, but it still basically represents only a part of the story.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/5/2008
  • Label: Verve
  • UPC: 602517576735
  • Catalog Number: 001062602
  • Sales rank: 9,849

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Billie Holiday Primary Artist
Tony Scott Clarinet
Buster Bailey Clarinet
Phil Bodner Woodwind
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison Trumpet
Roy Eldridge Trumpet
Benny Goodman Clarinet
Urbie Green Trombone
Tiny Grimes Guitar
Bobby Hackett Trumpet
Chico Hamilton Drums
Eddie Heywood Piano
Johnny Hodges Alto Saxophone
Budd Johnson Tenor Saxophone
Wynton Kelly Piano
Barney Kessel Guitar
John Kirby Bass
Mundell Lowe Guitar
Specs Powell Drums
Tab Smith Alto Saxophone
Mal Waldron Piano
Ben Webster Tenor Saxophone
Teddy Wilson Track Performer
Charlie Shavers Trumpet
Lester Young Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Barefield Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
Aaron Bell Bass
Billy Butterfield Trumpet
Cozy Cole Drums
Bob Haggart Bass
Horace Henderson Piano
Carl Kress Guitar
Bernie Leighton Piano
Johnny Mince Alto Saxophone
Frankie Newton Trumpet
Willie Rodriguez Drums
Buddy Weed Piano
Alvy West Saxophone
Stan Webb Baritone Saxophone
George Duvivier Bass
Al Cohn Tenor Saxophone
Danny Bank Woodwind
Everett Barksdale Guitar
Artie Bernstein Bass
Emmett Berry Trumpet
Denzil Best Drums
Larry Binyon Tenor Saxophone
Johnny Blowers Drums
Mort Bullman Trombone
Kenny Burrell Guitar
Red Callender Bass
Russ Case Trumpet
Big Sid Catlett Drums
Henderson Chambers Trombone
George Dorsey Alto Saxophone
Eddie Dougherty Drums
Ray Ellis Conductor
Barry Galbraith Guitar
Gordon Griffin Trumpet
Joe Guy Trumpet
Milt Hinton Bass
J.J. Johnson Trombone
Osie Johnson Drums
Phil Kraus Percussion
Leo Kruczek Violin
Jack Lesberg Bass
George Matthews Trombone
Lenny McBrowne Drums
Murray McEachern Trombone
Nuncio "Toots" Mondello Alto Saxophone
Sol Moore Baritone Saxophone
Tony Mottola Guitar
David "Fathead" Newman Strings
Jimmy Nottingham Trumpet
George Ockner Violin, Concert Master
Romeo Penque Woodwind
Rudy Powell Alto Saxophone
Bernie Privin Trumpet
Janet Putnam Harp
Paul Quinichette Tenor Saxophone
Allan Reuss Guitar
Hymie Schertzer Alto Saxophone
Artie Shapiro Bass
Norris "Bunny" Shawker Drums
Carson Smith Bass
Bill Stegmeyer Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
John Trueheart Guitar
Bobby Tucker Piano
Dick Vance Trumpet
Dicky Wells Trombone
Sonny White Piano
John Williams [double bass] Bass
Shadow Wilson Drums
Milt Yaner Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Paul Ricci Tenor Saxophone
Carl Drinkard Piano
Kenneth Hollon Tenor Saxophone
Larry Neill Trumpet
Sammy Benskin Piano
Tony Faso Trumpet
Harry Azen Strings
John Fulton Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Bernard Kaufman Tenor Saxophone
Mike Pingatore Guitar
Monty Kelly Trumpet
Skip Layton Trombone
Paul Whiteman Orchestra Track Performer
Elise Bretton Soprano (Vocal)
Morris Lefkowitz Violin
Daniel Perry Guitar
Armand Camgros Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy McLin Guitar
Haig Stephens Bass
Stanley Payne Tenor Saxophone
Jack Cressey Alto Saxophone
George Serloff Violin
Freddy Williams Tenor Saxophone
Miriam Workman Soprano (Vocal)
Art Drellinger Tenor Saxophone
Lennie Hartman Saxophone
Al Kink Alto Saxophone
King Guion Saxophone
Joe Spring Piano
Sol Blumenthal Strings
Don Waddilove Trumpet
Charles Jaffe Violin
Frank Siefiels Violin
Tom Mitchell Trombone
Armand Kaproff Viola
Tony Scott & His Orchestra Track Performer
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Tony Scott Arranger
Eddie Heywood Arranger
Herbie Nichols Composer
Bob Haggart Director
Jimmy Mundy Arranger, Composer
Sy Oliver Arranger, Director
Trummy Young Composer
Fred E. Ahlert Composer
Billie Holiday Composer
Toots Camarata Director
Eddie DeLange Composer
Ervin Drake Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Ray Ellis Arranger
Milt Gabler Producer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Porter Grainger Composer
Arthur Herzog Jr. Composer
Edward Heyman Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Roger "Ram" Ramirez Composer
Ralph Rainger Composer
Leo Robin Composer
Bill Stegmeyer Director
Irving Townsend Producer
Roy Turk Composer
James Van Heusen Composer
Albert Willemetz Composer
Bill Carey Composer
Carl Fisher Composer
Bill Dahl Liner Notes
Jimmy Sherman Composer
Buster Harding Director
Ann Ronell Composer
Don Peterson Photo Courtesy
Harry Woods Composer
Sidney Clare Composer
Jacques Charles Composer
Dan Fisher Composer
Jay Gorney Composer
Irene Higginbotham Composer
Channing Pollack Composer
Everett Robbins Composer
Doris Tauber Composer
William Tracey Composer
Maurice Yvain Composer
Pat Lawrence Executive Producer
Ryan Null Photo Coordination
Lewis Allan Composer
John F. Hammond Producer
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