Copyright 2000 www.cosmopolis.ch Louis Gerber All rights
Billie Holiday: The Commodore Master Takes For
sheet music by
Billie Holiday click here.
Get the CD from Amazon.com.
The Commodore Records were the first only-jazz label in the USA, created in
1938 by the legendary mid-Manhattan record store. In four sessions in the
years 1939 and 1944, Billie Holiday sang on 45 complete takes for them. 16 of
them have been reunited for the first time on one CD. They belong to her best
recordings ever. Her fragile voice and her intonation was not yet affected by
her drug and alcohol abuse - she died prematurely in 1959 at the age of 44.
She started in 1930 in a small club in Brooklyn. Lady Day or Lady
of Pain, as she was called, recorded her greatest commercial successes
with Commodore: Strange Fruit, the song about a victim of lynch-mob,
and Fine and Mellow. Besides these two tracks one can find on the CD Yesterdays,
I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues - in contrast to its title a very joyful
tune -, I Cover the Waterfront and As Time Goes By, a song
well-known since Casablanca
- of course not sung by Billie Holiday in the film. The Commodore Master
Takes is a CD that belongs in all jazz collections.