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Album Review

This album contains four recordings apiece from Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan and two from Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald. All of the performances are available elsewhere, and this CD is rather brief in playing time (just 36 minutes, less than half of its capacity). The music is generally excellent with Lady Day heard during 1935-1939, Fitzgerald's two songs being from a 1936 session with Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra, and Lena Horne also being backed by Wilson in 1941. However, Sarah Vaughan takes honors, for she is heard in prime form in 1950 on "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "East of the Sun," "Goodnight My Love," and a classic version of "Ain't Misbehavin'"; her all-star backup group includes Miles Davis.

Biography

Born: 07 April 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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