Billie Holiday

Billie Sings the Blues

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This compilation of performances by Billie Holiday is made up of both radio and television broadcasts from 1949 through 1957 with various accompanists and orchestras. With the exception of the famous "Fine and Mellow" from her appearance on the historic television broadcast The Sound of Jazz, where her voice still conveyed some emotion though it was clear her health was poor, she is in very good form on the other tracks. This Sandy Hook anthology includes Holiday singing standards associated with her ("All of Me," "Miss Brown to You" and "He's Funny That Way"), obscurities ("Keeps on A-Rainin'" and "Now Baby or Never"), and her famous compositions "Billie's Blues (I Love My Man)" and "God Bless the Child." Among the highlights are the four songs from a 1949 Just Jazz concert, where her supporting cast includes Jimmy Rowles and Neal Hefti, and a brief interview with Art Ford featuring the singer in an upbeat mood. All of these tracks have been issued numerous times on various LPs and CDs internationally, but the excellent sound makes this album worth purchasing if found at a reasonable price, even though the credits are very sketchy on the record jacket.