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Billie Holiday – Music For Torching
There's a history, however brief, to this long-playing record. The story begins in Hollywood Bowl on the night of Aug. 20, 1955, when Billie Holiday started to sing, hauntingly, and an indefinable electricity touched the audience. Billie was singing, yes; but Billie was also singing songs the way they were meant to be sung and, even more to the point, the way Billie herself was made - almost predestined, you might say - to sing.
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Billie Holiday – Recital by Billie Holiday
Almost 45 years have passed since the death of “Lady Day”. About 50 years ago she could be seen and heard in just a few rare concerts outside the USA. Alcohol, drugs, affairs and racial discrimination in the USA had all left their mark on her and only her voice served as a reminder of her great successes. It is thanks to Norman Granz that Billie Holiday signed a new, lucrative contract in the early Fifties. He drew the very best musicians into the studio and paid for excellent arrangers so that Billie had an opportunity to sing her old songs once again and record them for posterity in the very best sound quality.
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The Lionel Hampton Quartet – s/t
They were known as The Perfect Quartet! And it wasn’t just their producer Norman Granz, surely not unbiased as to the greatness of his jazz musicians, who called them so. So it was only logical to put this Super-Quartet together. Just as the start of his career, the great Oscar Peterson was eager to show off all that he had learned from copying and listening to his maestro Art Tatum; Ray Brown provided swing and bop which he had perfected in Dizzy Gillespie’s big bands; Buddy Rich, billed as 'the world’s greatest drummer', could lend impetus to simply any band; and the grandmaster of the sticks, known as 'The Hamp', could hammer away at the vibraphone just as Benny Goodman before him – full of verve and swing, rhythmic and melodic, ecstatic and sensitive.