Billie Holiday

Compact Jazz: Billie Holiday

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Culled from Holiday's mid-'50s recordings on Verve, the 13 tracks here present a fine overview of Holiday's autumnal prime; no rough sides to be found, just cherry-picked swingers ("A Fine Romance") and spot-on ballads ("Ill Wind"). The unadulterated power and easy glee of the '30s is gone, replaced by subtle phrasing and an emotive delivery. And while effortlessly reeling off classic readings of "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me" and "Sophisticated Lady," Holiday revels in the company of such heavyweights as Ben Webster, Jimmy Rowles, Harry Eddison, and Barney Kessel. A fine sampler of Holiday's storied late work.

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