Billie Holiday: Love is Here to Stay
Love is Here to Stay
Billie Holiday (vocals)
All or Nothing at All (Verve 823449)
Composed by George & Ira Gershwin.
Recorded: Los Angeles, January 8, 1957
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Because of the prominent inclusion of this song in the Oscar-winning biopic on Holiday, it has become closely associated with her. But Lady Day did not sing it at a recording session until shortly before her death. By then this upbeat tribute to eternal romance was strikingly out of synch with both her private life and public persona. Yet Holiday delivers a moving and believable performance of the Gershwin standard. Hear how her phrasing accentuates the meaning of the lyric—she elongates the 'going a long, long way' while the 'crumble' and 'tumble' get the more abbreviated treatment. This singer will always be associated with saxophonist Lester Young, but her Verve pairings with Ben Webster are also deserving of high praise. Webster takes the opening melody statement on this track, and by the time Holiday enters, the mood is already established and there to stay. No, Holiday didn't often sing this song, but she puts her claim on it here, and i don't see another vocalist wresting it away from her.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia