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Billie Holiday - The Complete Commodore & Decca Masters (2009)

10-03-2014, 20:27
Music | Jazz | Vocal Jazz | Blues | Pop

Billie Holiday - The Complete Commodore & Decca Masters (2009)

Artist: Billie Holiday
Title Of Album: The Complete Commodore & Decca Masters
Year Of Release: 2009
Label: Hip-O Select
Genre: Jazz/Pop/Blues Vocals
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 50:44+58:05+52:40
Total Size: 118+135+122 Mb
Covers: Front

CD 1:
01. Strange Fruit (3:11)
02. Yesterdays (3:24)
03. Fine And Mellow (3:16)
04. I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues (2:49)
05. How Am I To Know (2:43)
06. My Old Flame (3:01)
07. I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You) (2:57)
08. I Cover The Waterfront (3:29)
09. I'll Be Seeing You (3:29)
10. I'm Yours (3:15)
11. Embraceable You (3:14)
12. As Time Goes By (3:10)
13. He's Funny That Way (3:14)
14. Lover, Come Back To Me (3:19)
15. Billie's Blues (3:06)
16. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (3:01)

CD 2:
01. Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be) (Single Version) (3:15)
02. No More (Single Version) (2:46)
03. That Ole Devil Called Love (Single Version) (2:52)
04. Don't Explain (Single Version) (3:20)
05. You Better Go Now (Single Version) (2:29)
06. What Is This Thing Called Love (Single Version) (3:08)
07. Good Morning Heartache (3:05)
08. No Good Man (Single Version) (3:04)
09. Big Stuff (2:29)
10. Baby, I Don't Cry Over You (1991 Box Set Version) (3:09)
11. I'll Look Around (Edit) (3:13)
12. The Blues Are Brewin' (Single Version) (3:02)
13. Guilty (3:11)
14. Deep Song (Single Version) (3:10)
15. There Is No Greater Love (Single Version) (2:56)
16. Easy Living (Single Version) (3:10)
17. Solitude (Single Version) (3:07)
18. Weep No More (Single Version) (3:19)
19. Girls Were Made To Take Care Of Boys (Single Version) (3:12)

CD 3:
01. I Loves You Porgy (Single Version) (2:54)
02. My Man (Mon Homme) (Single Version) (2:55)
03. 'tain't Nobody's Business If I Do (Single Version) (3:18)
04. Baby Get Lost (Single Version) (3:13)
05. Keeps On A Rainin' (Papa He Can't Make No Time) (Single Version) (3:14)
06. Them There Eyes (Single Version) (2:49)
07. Do Your Duty (Single Version) (3:14)
08. Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer (Single Version) (2:42)
09. You Can't Lose A Broken Heart (Single Version) (3:13)
10. My Sweet Hunk O' Trash (Single Version) (3:18)
11. Now Or Never (Single Version) (3:15)
12. You're My Thrill (Single Version) (3:21)
13. Crazy He Calls Me (Single Version) (3:01)
14. Please Tell Me Now (Single Version) (3:12)
15. Somebody's On My Mind (Single Version) (2:55)
16. God Bless The Child (Single Version) (3:08)
17. This Is Heaven To Me (Single Version) (2:50)

Although many of Billie Holiday's recordings for Commodore and Decca are often overlooked -- at least in comparison to the songs that bookend her career (for Columbia and Verve) -- they include some of her best work, beginning at the end of the '30s with "Strange Fruit" and stretching to the end of the '40s with "God Bless the Child." In 1939, Billie Holiday was a jazz sensation without a hit record. She gained that hit record, and began her journey to musical immortality, when her label Columbia refused to record "Strange Fruit," and jazz fan Milt Gabler welcomed her to his aficionado label, Commodore. Gabler recorded Holiday often over the next ten years, both at Commodore and through his work at Decca in the mid-to late '40s. While on Commodore, Holiday focused on downcast ballads, including "I Cover the Waterfront" and "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" (dubbed "loser" songs by Gabler), but she also excelled with warm and affectionate material too, "Embraceable You" and "On the Sunny Side of the Street." Regardless of the material, her backing consisted of small groups usually led by a pair of saloon-sound maestros: Doc Cheatham on trumpet and Eddie Heywood on piano. That sound was in for a switch when Holiday moved to Decca, however, beginning with another big hit, "Lover Man," a pop ballad with the full crossover treatment -- strings and all. (Gabler had no compunction about false notions of purity, and he happily recorded Holiday with strings and backing choruses whenever the song demanded it.) Even more than her work for Commodore, Holiday's work for Decca was melancholy and resigned in the extreme, with sterling treatments of yet more loser songs: "Don't Explain," "Good Morning Heartache," "You Better Go Now," and "What Is This Thing Called Love." Individually, the songs are excellent, and as a package, The Complete Commodore & Decca Masters can hardly be beat. It's a splendid accompaniment to similar sets devoted to Billie Holiday's Columbia and Verve output, and while completists will bemoan the lack of the many alternate takes -- most of the Commodore sides have two alternate takes for each master recording, available elsewhere -- this is all the war-years Billie Holiday one could hope for. ~Review by John Bush

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