The Commodore Master Takes (1939-44)
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||Strange Fruit||Billie Holiday||3:13||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Yesterdays||Billie Holiday||3:26||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Fine and Mellow||Billie Holiday||3:18||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (Take 2)||Billie Holiday||2:56||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||How Am I to Know?||Billie Holiday||2:47||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||My Old Flame||Billie Holiday||3:05||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)||Billie Holiday||3:01||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||I Cover the Waterfront||Billie Holiday||3:34||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||I'll Be Seeing You||Billie Holiday||3:33||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||I'm Yours||Billie Holiday||3:18||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Embraceable You||Billie Holiday||3:18||$0.69||View In iTunes|
||As Time Goes By||Billie Holiday||3:16||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||He's Funny That Way||Billie Holiday||3:18||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Lover, Come Back to Me||Billie Holiday||3:20||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Billie's Blues||Billie Holiday||3:10||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||On the Sunny Side of the Street||Billie Holiday||3:02||$0.99||View In iTunes|
Anchored by "Strange Fruit," the stark evocation of malignant American racism that would become one of her signature songs, this chronicle of Billie Holiday's brief tenure at NYC jazz purveyor Milt Gabler's Commodore Records finds the singer at a crossroads as crucial to her career blossoming as it was controversial. Indeed, she likely wouldn't have recorded for the label at all had Columbia not balked at the explicit "Strange Fruit." Instead, her freelancing at Commodore offered the singer an opportunity to follow her mercurial muse in a way that was rare for any artist in the late '30's/early '40s, let alone a headstrong black woman with a personal life as stormy as her voice was magnificent. While the full sessions are available on The Complete Commodore Sessions), these are the 16 master takes that resulted, performances that cast Holiday in intimate small band settings, allowing the singer (who had just quit Artie Shaw's big band in frustration) and her blues/jazz-fueled sensibilities to soar to new heights.
Billie Holiday the Commodore Master Takes
A beautiful album with a terrific version of Strange Fruit, others have performed this song beautifully including Dee Dee Bridgewater, but nothing touches this take on the song. Amazingly good sound quality too given the era of its recording.
I recommend picking this album.
For those who are just looking for a good, solid Billie Holiday album. (amateur jazz fans like myself, basically) It is great sound quality and all your favorites.
Born: April 7, 1915 in Baltimore, MD
Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s