At first glance, a CD of Billie Holiday tracks handpicked by comedian/actor Billy Crystal may seem an odd bird. However, given that Crystal's uncle, record producer Milt Gabler, produced most of the cuts included here, it actually makes more sense than many similarly themed albums with tracks picked by musicians. Thanks to the family connection, Crystal grew up surrounded by famous jazz musicians and developed a lifelong passion for the music -- especially the singing of Billie Holiday. Included here such iconic Holiday tracks as "Fine and Mellow," "God Bless the Child" and the landmark anti-lynching lament "Strange Fruit." These are the cuts that helped cement Holiday's persona as a soulful and brilliant vocalist with an utterly unique style. While there are other acceptable Billie Holiday compilations available, the personalized aspect of Billy Remembers Billie makes it a superb introduction to Holiday's singular oeuvre.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar