Billie's Best

Billie's Best

by Billie Holiday
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Billie's Best

There is no end in sight to the debate over Billie Holiday's career as a vocalist: Is the essence of her art to be found in her early recordings for Columbia or in the recordings she made for Verve at the end of her short and, by all accounts, miserable life? The early work finds her in clearer voice and singing with energy and conviction, while in the later recordings her voice is ravaged, yet more soulful and perhaps more nuanced. In 1992 Verve made its case for the latter position by releasing a monumental ten-disc box set containing everything Holiday recorded for the company between 1945-1959, and simultaneously released this 16-track sampler as a palliative to those who didn't have 150 dollars lying around. Nothing here will settle the argument for good, but this album does offer a good cross section of the latter part of her career, from the small-ensemble work with pianists Oscar Peterson and Jimmy Rowles to a nice performance of "All the Way" with an orchestra conducted by Ray Ellis. This probably should not be anyone's only Billie Holiday album, but it's a valuable, and at times moving, document of the end of a sad but illustrious career.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/22/1992
Label: Polygram Records
UPC: 0731451394324
catalogNumber: 513943

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billie Holiday   Primary Artist,Vocals
Tony Scott   Clarinet
Billy Bauer   Electric Guitar
Harry Edison   Trumpet,Tenor (Vocal)
Herb Ellis   Electric Guitar
Freddie Green   Guitar
Chico Hamilton   Drums
Budd Johnson   Tenor Saxophone
Hank Jones   Piano,Cello
Wynton Kelly   Piano
Barney Kessel   Electric Guitar
Red Mitchell   Bass
Joe Newman   Trumpet,Tenor (Vocal)
Oscar Peterson   Piano
Flip Phillips   Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Rowles   Piano
Ed Shaughnessy   Drums
Willie Smith   Alto Saxophone
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Shavers   Trumpet,Tenor (Vocal)
Aaron Bell   Bass
Cozy Cole   Drums
Leonard Gaskin   Bass
Joe Benjamin   Bass
Benny Carter   Alto Saxophone
Ray Brown   Bass
Larry Bunker   Drums
Kenny Burrell   Electric Guitar
Red Callender   Bass
Ray Ellis   Conductor
Gus Johnson   Drums
Osie Johnson   Drums
Joe Mondragon   Bass
Lenny McBrowne   Drums
Romeo Penque   Bass,Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Janet Putnam   Harp
Paul Quinichette   Tenor Saxophone
John Simmons   Bass
Alvin Stoller   Drums
Billy Taylor   Piano
Bobby Tucker   Piano

Technical Credits

Chico Hamilton   Contributor
Ray Ellis   Arranger
Arthur Herzog   Composer
Leroy Lovett   Director
Lenny McBrowne   Contributor
Cliff Preiss   Producer
Peter Pullman   Producer
Phil Schaap   Producer
Alvin Stoller   Contributor
Michael Bays   Art Direction
Brooks Bowman   Composer
Irene Kitchings   Composer

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Billie's Best 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What's to say (type)? Just listen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago