Billie Holiday, Teddy Wilson, Buck Clayton: Nice Work If You Can Get It


Nice Work If You Can Get It


Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra with Billie Holiday, Buck Clayton, etc.


Lady Day: The Master Takes and Singles (Columbia-Legacy 710955)

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Billie Holiday (vocals), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Teddy Wilson (piano),

Prince Robinson, Vido Musso (tenor saxes, clarinets), Allen Reuss (guitar), Walter Page (bass), Cozy Cole (drums)


Composed by George and Ira Gershwin


Recorded: New York, November 1, 1937


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

This is another of those tunes with clever lyrics telling a little story that speaks to facets and feelings in peoples’ lives. As usual, Billie Holiday sang these words with intonation, style, rhythm, and emotion. In this track we have Buck Clayton performing his usual terrific trumpet solo that adds so well to Holiday’s singing, including a characteristic slide up to a key note (Louis Armstrong’s influence is evident), along with his excellent ensemble work. Lester Young is not in on this session; rather, Prince Robinson and Vido Musso, two other first-rate professionals offer very good solos on tenor sax and clarinet, as well as making fine contributions to the ensemble playing. Instead of the Basie band rhythm section that was Billie’s frequent foundation in her ‘30s recordings, we have Basie bassist Walter Page along with top drummer Cozy Cole and the excellent Allen Reuss on guitar driving the musical action.

Reviewer: Dean Alger


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