Billie Holiday: Stormy Weather
Billie Holiday (vocals)
Verve Jazz Masters 47: Sings Standards (Polygram 527650)
Composed by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler.
Recorded: New York, July 27, 1952
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Possessing neither the theatricality of Ethel Waters nor the stateliness of Lena Horne, Billie Holiday eschews "Stormy Weather" as a torch song, and instead makes it a saloon song. You might fear that Billie's quarter-to-three, no-one-in-the-place-except-you-and-me barstool confidential would detract from the lyrics; with such a distinctive artist, a mere song risks becoming more about her than about its intended subject. Think again. Nobody ever served "Stormy Weather" better than Lady Day, who affords a whole new appreciation of Ted Koehler's words. Songs are a form of storytelling. And jazz never had a wiser, more believable storyteller than Billie Holiday.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
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”Billie Holiday” by Stuart Nicholson (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)