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The Complete Commodore Recordings

Billie Holiday

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Album Review

This double-disc issued by Jazz Factory almost completely mirrors the United States issue of the same material entitled The Complete Commodore Recordings, officially issued by Universal in 1997. There are 45 cuts spread across them. The material was recorded in 1939 and 1944 by Milt Gabler. The original 78 that was "Strange Fruit" b/w "Fine and Mellow," was released by Gabler because Columbia's John Hammond refused to record the song. Holiday was under contract to the label at the time, but Hammond loosed the reins a bit and allowed her the leeway to cut it for Commodore. There are two other sides cut in 1939, and the remainder of these tunes were taped during sessions in 1944 with Holiday backed by the Eddie Heywood Sextet. The material is exactly the same on both collections, but the running order is different, and this one is preferable because it breaks up the different takes chronologically rather than putting them in simple historical order. Either way you go you can't lose, since these are top-notch performances at the very peak of Holiday's power as an artist.

Customer Reviews


Billie Holiday has such a unique voice. it just takes your breath away because it is so beautiful and inocent. One one has been able to even mach Billie, She was truly one of a kind


this is the best kind of music.

so beautiful

I like todays music but the past brought forth some of the greatest musicians of all time and unbeleivable talent


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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