Billie Holiday

Masters [Cleopatra]

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THE MASTERS is truly an excellent collection. With 20 tracks on hand, listeners are given a remarkably lengthy and representative sampler of some of Lady Day's finest sides. Atmosphere and emotional tone are paramount in Holiday's performances, and THE MASTERS pays careful attention to the range of the singer's palette.

The dark, chilling journey of "Strange Fruit" stands in contrast to the insouciance of "What A Little Moonlight Can Do." "Them There Eyes," laid back yet energetic, is countered by the melancholic romanticism of "I Wished On The Moon." THE MASTERS also serves to remind that few can match Holiday's treatment of such standards as "Night and Day," "The Man I Love," "Georgia On My Mind," and "Am I Blue?" Taken together, the cuts on this compilation show the jazz legend at her best.

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