Billie Holiday: These Foolish Things


These Foolish Things


Billie Holiday (vocals)


The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes (Verve 8030)

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Billie Holiday (vocals), Oscar Peterson (piano), Barney Kessel (guitar), Ray Brown (bass), Alvin Stoller (drums).

Composed by Jack Strachey, Harry Link & Eric Maschwitz


Recorded: Los Angeles, May 1952


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Sixteen years after recording it with Teddy Wilson, Billie revisits this song for a slower, deeper interpre- tation. Gone is the girlish naiveté, succeeded by the womanly wisdom of a summa cum laude graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. Now, as she catalogs those silly mementos we can't escape—"a cigarette that bears a lipstick's traces, an airline ticket to romantic places"—Billie's artistry is fully matured. Knowing her life story, it's hard not to consider Holiday a tragic figure. Hearing her music, it's impossible not to realize that, like Caesar, Billie came, saw and conquered. Her soul had wings.

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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