Billie Holiday (with Count Basie): They Can't Take That Away From Me


They Can't Take That Away From Me


Count Basie and His Orchestra (featuring Billie Holiday)


Billie Holiday: Rare Live Recordings 1934-1959 (ESP 4039)

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Billie Holiday (vocals), Count Basie (piano), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Bobby Moore (trumpet), Eddie Durham (trombone), Earle Warren (clarinet), Lester Young (tenor sax), Herschel Evans (tenor sax), Jack Washington (baritone sax), Freddie Green (guitar), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums),

George Hunt (trombone), Dan Minor (trombone)


Composed by George & Ira Gershwin


Recorded: Live at the Savoy Ballroom, New York, June 30, 1937


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Count Basie featured three singers with his band on this June 30, 1937 live broadcast from Harlem's famous Savoy Ballroom. But Billie Holiday, only 22 years old, steals the show with this heartfelt performance of Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me." During this period, Holiday would make many of her most famous recordings, often in the company of Lester Young, who is also part of this edition of the Basie band. In time, Holiday's singing would become laced with a deep-set melancholy, and the vocalist herself seemed to take some pride in her public image as a downtrodden and heartbroken woman. Yet here she sings with pride and independence, proclaiming through the lyrics of the standard all the things they can't take away from her. This is one of Holiday's finest moments, and certainly one of her most upbeat.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

If you liked this track, also check out

Billie Holiday: Good Morning Heartache
Billie Holiday: Mean to Me
Billie Holiday: I Loves You Porgy

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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