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Songs for Distingué Lovers

Billie Holiday

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Recorded just two years before her death, Songs for DistinguishŽ Lovers shows a matured but hardly mellowed Billie Holiday. Despite the limits hard living and heroin brought to her voice-it was coarser, darker, with a narrowed range-Lady Day still expressed more in a single note than many artists do in a career. She doesn't sing these songs as much as she casually peels back layers of meaning to reveal their truths. And the changes in her voice actually enhance the music, lending weight and beauty to her fresh interpretations of such standards as "Just One of Those Things," "A Foggy Day," and "Body and Soul." The small combo of jazz giants producer (and Verve Records founder) Norman Granz brought to these session provide ample room for these, the final recordings of Holiday's distinguished career.

Customer Reviews

Romantic, Elegant

Anytime I just want something beautiful playing in the background that I know everyone will agree upon, this is it. I have had it on tape for many years and therefore haven't listened to it for a few years now. In cleaning out my closets and getting rid of all my old tapes, there it was. I put it in my one remaining tape player and warmth surrounded me with Billie's voice. This is such a great collection of her songs. If you're not sure which Billie to buy, get this one. She'll bring you in and you'll forever want to listen to her while eating brunch on a rainy Sunday morning.


I am an album person, and I listen to music album by album, rarely by song or artist. As an album, this is a watershed masterwork as far as I am concerned.


Born: April 7, 1915 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever. More than a half-century after her death, it's difficult to believe that prior to her emergence, jazz and pop singers were tied to the Tin Pan Alley tradition and rarely personalized their songs; only blues singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey actually gave the impression they had lived through what they were singing. Billie Holiday's...
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