Billie Holiday: I Loves You Porgy

Track

I Loves You Porgy

Artist

Billie Holiday (vocals)

CD

Billie Holiday's Greatest Hits (Decca GRD-653)

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Musicians:

Billie Holiday (vocals), Bobby Tucker (piano), Mundell Lowe (guitar), John Levy (bass), Denzil Best (drums).

Composed by George & Ira Gershwin

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Recorded: New York, December 10, 1948

Albumcoverbilleholidaygreatesthits-decca

Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

In the 1940s, Billie Holiday had the misfortune (as if she needed any more) of being contracted to Decca Records, which kept saddling her with unsuitable material and inappropriate orchestrations. No ignominy was beneath Decca, which in 1949 went so far as to refashion Billie as a latter-day Bessie Smith for “Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer”—equivalent to casting Paul Robeson as Kingfish in Amos 'n' Andy. Here, left to her own devices, Lady Day proves that an intimate Gershwin song plus four sympathetic musicians made the best backdrop for the unadorned drama of her incomparable voice.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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Related Links

Billie Holiday: Rare and Live by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Billie Holiday Performances by Stuart Nicholson
”Billie Holiday” by Stuart Nicholson (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)


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