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Watch: Billie Holiday – Billie Holiday Story

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

Billie Holiday » The Official Website of Billie Holiday
A brief biography, photo gallery, career summary, and the artwork from the Billie Holiday U.S. postal stamp

 

 

2 Responses to Watch: Billie Holiday – Billie Holiday Story

  • J. Lund "jazzbrat" says:
    172 of 176 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Major inclusions…minor omissions, November 25, 2000
    By 
    J. Lund “jazzbrat” (SoCal, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of America’s Music (Audio CD)
    Along with a number of other jazz fans and critics, I’ve been looking forward to the Ken Burns Jazz video history with mixed emotions, given that what has already been issued–the book in particular–seemed to lack a basic understanding of the art form’s most-recent half-century. Although there is some evidence of that stance here, the sheer abundance of classic tracks on this five-CD set makes it an excellent introduction to the art form, particularly for newcomers. Absorb this box, and you are well on your way to experiencing the width and depth of this ever-evolving art form, one that at its best values both teamwork and individuality.
    What I like about this set is that with five-CDs, there is room to give a number of important events in jazz history a bit more play than just a cameo appearance. For instance, Louis Armstrong’s 1920s classic hot 5/hot 7 recordings are represented by three key tracks. With 2-3 examples of such creative peaks, one can better discern the unique qualities of each artist. With multiple chances to listen, one can become more familiar with a player’s sound…the consistencies and variances in a player’s solo approach become increasingly apparent when comparisons can be made.
    Other early greats are similiarly documented, from Ellington, Basie, Goodman, and Billie Holiday up through the late-1940s bebop revolution (Monk, Parker, Gillespie, Powell, Davis, etc.). The one negative about this set is that, after bebop, there isn’t enough room left in the box to continue this comparison process. Thus, only two artists (Ellington and Davis) out of jazz’s most recent half-century get more than one track per creative peak each..and at least in Miles’ case, the two successive tracks are nearly bookends to a extended, rapidly evolving period of creativity.
    Even so, there is at least a taste of the avant-garde, fusion, pop jazz, bossa nova, neo-classicism, etc., so recent events are not entirely ignored, just given relatively brief exposure. Add that to the excellent overview of jazz’s up-and-coming decades, and this set overall serves a valuable purpose, particularly for those who wonder what jazz is ALL about.

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  • robbabub says:
    81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Gee Guys. You Missed the Point., January 31, 2001
    By 

    This review is from: Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of America’s Music (Audio CD)
    I agree with everyone. Ken Burns missed so much in his documentary. This CD set is missing so much. But then did he make this documentary for us egghead jazz lovers who have multiple copies of every record that was played and talked about on the show. Copies so worn out from listening that we had to buy new ones. Music that we could name in two notes because we have listened to so much jazz. Film clips we have seen a hundred times because we never miss a chance to look at jazz as well as listen to it. I don’t think he made the show for us. I think he made the show for about 259 million other people in America who never listen to jazz and are scared to death of it. People who don’t begin to know what they are missing. Jazz afficiandos can be such snobs and snot heads. Jazz belongs to everyone and others deserve a door to the secret. This is a great door. If I was wanting to find a way into this wonderful and beautiful world, I think this set is a good place to start. Welcome everyone. Once you are in there is no way out. There is to much to hear. Too much too know. Too much excitement to ever get bored. Jazz is.

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