Billie Holiday: Embraceable You


Embraceable You


Billie Holiday (vocals)


The Commodore Master Takes (Commodore 314 543 272-2)

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Billie Holiday (vocals), Doc Cheatham (trumpet), Vic Dickenson (trombone), Eddie Heywood (piano), Lem Davis (alto sax), John Simmons (bass), Sid Catlett (drums).

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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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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