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Commodore Master Takes Best of


Price: CDN$ 18.41 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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16 new from CDN$ 8.60 3 used from CDN$ 3.99

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 8 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Verve - Universal Special Imports
  • ASIN: B00003G1JG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,531 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Strange Fruit
2. Yesterdays
3. Fine And Mellow
4. I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
5. How Am I To Know?
6. My Old Flame
7. I'll Get By
8. I Cover The Waterfront
9. I'll Be Seeing You
10. I'm Yours
11. Embraceable You
12. As Time Goes By
13. He's Funny That Way
14. Lover, Come Back To Me
15. Billie's Blues
16. On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By joe on Nov. 24 2001
Format: Audio CD
The "official" amazon.com review above says that these recordings wrre made "mostly" in 1939, which is misleading; four of the tunes, among them "Strange Fruit," were recorded then, but the other twelve are from 1944. The reviewer also says that the recordings contain no traces of her later "deterioration," but I hear considerably more raggedness here than on the earlier Columbia recordings. This isn't a criticism; these sides, I think, strike just the proper blanace between the chipper just-one-of-the guys vibe of the Columbias and the sometimes oppressively tragic atmosphere of the later Verve albums.
These are small-group recordings, but the accompaniments are more low-key than on the Columbias and the instrumentalists get much less solo space. So there is nothing here akin to Holiday's relationship with Lester Young on those earlier recordings. On the other hand, the material on the Commodores is superior; she recorded only the finest standards and blues, as opposed to the hokum she was regularly forced to deal with for Columbia. As for highlights, "Strange Fruit" is a remarkable historical document, more effective as moving propaganda than as a popular song. "I Cover the Waterfront" is one of the best versions of a classic tune, and her version of "How Am I To Know?" is especially striking, as she begins her vocal with a dramatically isolated "Oh!" before beginning her mournful reading of the lyric.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD contains all 16 master takes that Billie recorded on Commodore Records in 1939 and 1944. The standout item here is, of course, the immortal "Strange Fruit." All the other recordings, however, are outstanding as well. On the songs here, she's backed by small jazz combos, which (I agree with the other reviewers) is how she sounded best. I like her version of "Yesterdays" very much. Other gems include "My Old Flame," "I'll Be Seeing You," and "How Am I to Know." This is some of the most emotion-charged music you'll ever hear.
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Format: Audio CD
Billie Holiday is the most exquisite jazz vocalist of all time. Her voice was like no other, and her phrasing almost always perfect. But even when she was not perfect and her voice a bit ragged, she still had a connection with every song she sang and every song sounded like it was written for her - she could sing anything and interpret every song to fit her own unique style. This is a great CD because it compiles the music from some of Billie's best years. Her voice is top notch on this CD and the band is truly solid. She was always so much more at home with small bands. Though in my opinion not as essential as the Verve collection (Lady In Autumn), this is still a great collection and highlighting Holiday at her peak.
I am hard pressed to think of a Billie Holiday CD I have not thoroughly enjoyed. It is really hard to go wrong with her recordings.
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Format: Audio CD
billie can sing life into any song or phrase that she pleases. she can turn the most vulgar of songs into the sweetest; the most degrading of them into the most tempting. an impossible to forget from the first time you here it voice is what billie has. shes probably one of the most if not THE most emotional singer youll ever here
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