Part of the label's top-notch series of roundup discs, Verve Jazz Masters 12: Billie Holiday cherry-picks the best of Holiday's '50s stretch under Norman Granz's watch. At her autumnal best, Holiday particularly shines on "Good Morning Heartache," "Yesterdays," and "Speak Low." The disc also spotlights the stellar playing of Harry "Sweets" Edison, Tony Scott, Ben Webster, Jimmy Rowles, and Barney Kessel. For fans already familiar with Holiday's earlier and more popular Columbia sides, this generous and commendable collection makes for the perfect introduction to her more pathos-rich later work.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook