Taken from a pair of sessions taped during 1955-1956, Lady Sings the Blues finds Holiday in top form and backed by the sympathetic likes of tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette, trumpeters Charlie Shavers and Harry Edison, pianist Wynton Kelly, and guitarists Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel. And while these autumnal sides bear some of the frayed vocal moments often heard on Holiday's '50s Verve sides, the majority here still ranks with her best material. This is especially true of the cuts from the June 1956 date, which produced unparalleled versions of "No Good Man," "Some Other Spring," and "Lady Sings the Blues." See why many fans prefer the "worn out" Holiday heard here to the more chipper singer featured on those classic Columbia records from the '30s.
Lady Sings the Blues Review
by Stephen Cook