Billie Holiday - Lady Sings The Blues (LP)

$ 18.99


Release Date: 01/15/21

3 Bonus Tracks! (Alternative Original Cover)

The recordings included on the classic album Lady Sings the Blues come from two
different studio dates: a complete session recorded in 1956, and four tunes from a
1954 date. Five additional tracks were also recorded at the latter session. Three of
them later surfaced on compilation LPs, and have been added here following the 12
tracks from the original album. (The other two tunes -which, according to discographies,
consist of new versions of Billie's classics 'I Cried For You' and 'What a Little Moonlight
Can Do' - were never issued and are now considered lost.) With the addition of these
three bonus tracks, this release contains all known surviving tracks from the second
session. The emphasis on both sessions is placed on Billie's singing. Although important
musicians are present on both dates (Charlie Shavers, Tony Scott, Paul Quinichette and
Wynton Kelly, on the 1956 session, and Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Willie Smith and Barney
Kessel, on the 1954 date), little room is left for any instrumental improvisation. Billie's
voice is clearly the showcased instrument here, which as Miles Davis stated, sounded
'like a horn, anyway'.
As the short unsigned original liner notes stated, Lady Sings the Blues was the title of a
song, an album, and a book. The book came first, and it contained Billie's memories,
co-written by William Dufty (a writer for the New York Post). They originally planned to
call the book Bitter Crop, a line from the song 'Strange Fruit', about the lynching of an
African American in the South. Billie used to end all of her sets with the tune, which she
re-recorded for this labum. However, the title of the book was changed to Lady Sings
the Blues at the suggestion of the publisher, even though Holiday only rarely recorded
blues tunes and didn't consider herself a blues singer. In any case, the title stuck, and
Billie recorded a song by that title shortly after (written by the underrated pianist Herbie
Nichols with lyrics by Billie.

Genre: Blues
Language: English
Run Time: 40 mins

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