Teddy Wilson (with Billie Holiday): Say It With A Kiss


Say It With A Kiss


Teddy Wilson & HIs Orchestra


The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol. 8 (Columbia 45449)

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Billie Holiday (vocals), Teddy Wilson (piano),

Harry James (trumpet), Benny Morton (trombone), Benny Carter, Edgar Sampson (alto saxes), Lester Young, Herschel Evans (tenor saxes), Al Casey (guitar), Water Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums)


Composed by Johnny Mercer & Harry Warren


Recorded: New York, November 9, 1938


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

If there be any doubt that Prez and Lady Day were musical soulmates, one listen to their work together on “Say It With A Kiss” should settle the question. Holiday’s subtlety and velvet tone on her vocal chorus echo through Young’s eight bars; even with Harry James’ brilliant golden exclamations interpolating, the two can’t help but to be of a piece. What Young can’t replicate, however, is the sly, winking quality in Holiday’s delivery—which is only augmented by her reshaping of the melody. Instead, he plays out the tune’s fundamental sweetness on his axe, thus complementing Lady Day even as he reinforces her. Everything, in other words, that soulmates are supposed to do.

Reviewer: Michael J. West

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