Billie Holiday

Blue Billie [Columbia]

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Blue Billie collects some of the legendary songstress' best-known ballads and blues-inflected songs, including "Gloomy Sunday," "Billie's Blues," "Am I Blue?," and "God Bless the Child." Culled from the Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia box set, this compilation offers a more focused -- and, arguably, manageable -- look at the way Holiday brought her own personal experiences to her work. "Long Gone Blues," "Why Was I Born?," "Moanin' Low," and the other tracks here are beautifully painful and painfully beautiful expressions of Holiday's talent. A casual or new fan looking to explore the brooding side of her work would be wise to investigate Blue Billie.

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