Billie Holiday: Embraceable You
Billie Holiday (vocals)
The Commodore Master Takes (Commodore 314 543 272-2)
Composed by George & Ira Gershwin.
Recorded: New York, April 1, 1944
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Her autobiography is entitled Lady Sings the Blues, and her most endearing performance is her blues "Fine and Mellow" on CBS-TV's The Sound of Jazz (1957). Yet Billie Holiday wasn't a blues singer. Her repertoire came not from the Mississippi Delta, but predominately from lower-Manhattan tunesmiths. To wit, this 1930s Gershwin standard. With the band kept strictly in the background, Billie languidly entices us, "Don't be a naughty baby—come to Mama, do." Much as we adore Lady Day, we can't promise to not be naughty. As she herself observed, "Love will make you do things that you know is wrong."
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
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