Billie Holiday

Known for her lyrical vocal interpretations, of all the vocalists of the swing era, Billie Holiday may be the most influential today. Although she disliked singing blues, preferring to interpret jazz standards, her approach to phrasing was strongly blues oriented, recalling singers like Bessie Smith, as well as jazz horn players, like Louis Armstrong. Her first recording was in 1933, with the Benny Goodman studio band. She worked with Count Basie's rhythm section (without Basie), producing some of her best work in 1937. (b. 4/7/15 Baltimore, MD, d. 7/17/59, New York)

Recorded in Koln, Germany on 1/5/54 this exerpt from I Cover the Waterfront features Carl Drinkard on the piano, Red Mitchell on bass and Elaine Leighton on drums. From Blue Note records' Billie's Blues (CDP 7 48786 2).

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