May 29, 2024

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CD review: Billie Holiday – Solitude 2022: Video, CD cover

The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever.

More than a half-century after her death, it’s difficult to believe that prior to her emergence, jazz and pop singers were tied to the Tin Pan Alley tradition and rarely personalized their songs; only blues singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey actually gave the impression they had lived through what they were singing. Billie Holiday’s highly stylized reading of this blues tradition revolutionized traditional pop, ripping the decades-long tradition of song plugging in two by refusing to compromise her artistry for either the song or the band.

She made clear her debts to Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong (in her autobiography she admitted, “I always wanted Bessie’s big sound and Pops’ feeling”), but in truth her style was virtually her own, quite a shock in an age of interchangeable crooners and band singers.

This album was originally issued as a 10-inch vinyl LP under the title Billie Holiday Sings, but later re-released as Solitude by Clef (later Verve) as a 12-inch album with the addition of some extra tracks. It was Holiday’s first studio session for the legendary Norman Granz and the first album not to be made up of singles.

The album received mixed responses, with several critics saying the results were uneven because of Holiday’s lifestyle. But Granz was no fool. He clearly knew that Holiday’s voice had changed and so made sure she had appropriate songs to perform. Using this approach, Holiday recorded many masterpieces during the six years 1952 to 1957. Norman Granz took great care in providing her with the very best of material from the American Songbook. Thus, she was able to record songs by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, etc, which she had never recorded before.

01. Solitude
02. Too Marvelous For Words
03. ‘Deed I Do
04. I Cried For You
05. All Of You
06. It’s Not For Me To Say
07. I Cried For You (Now It’s Your Turn To Cry Over Me)
08. If The Moon Turns Green
09. My Man
10. A Fine Romance (Take 2 / Alternate)
11. Remember
12. Love Me Or Leave Me
13. Sometimes I’m Happy
14. I Thought About You
15. Prelude To A Kiss
16. How Deep Is The Ocean?
17. East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon)
18. Softly
19. Easy To Love
20. I Only Have Eyes For You
21. Strange Fruit
22. Moonglow
23. There’ll Be Some Changes Made
24. Love For Sale
25. Yesterdays
26. Say It Isn’t So (1955 “Stay With Me” Version)
27. You Go To My Head
28. He’s Funny That Way
29. I Must Have That Man!
30. You Took Advantage Of Me
31. The Man I Love
32. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
33. Willow Weep For Me
34. Baby Won’t You Please Come Home
35. I Can’t Face The Music
36. April In Paris
37. What A Little Moonlight Can Do
38. Trav’lin Light
39. No Good Man
40. Blue Moon
41. Gone With The Wind
42. All The Way
43. Stormy Blues (Single Version)
44. You Turned The Tables On Me
45. I’ll Never Smile Again
46. Good Morning Heartache
47. Tenderly
48. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off
49. I Wished On The Moon
50. Lover, Come Back To Me
51. A Fine Romance (Take 8 / Master Take)
52. Our Love Is Here To Stay
53. Just One More Chance
54. Some Other Spring
55. Everything I Have Is Yours (10” Version)
56. Lady Sings The Blues
57. Stormy Weather
58. Autumn In New York
59. Cheek To Cheek
60. P.S. I Love You
61. Love Is Here To Stay
62. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)
63. Moonlight In Vermont
64. I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore (Take 2 / Master Take)
65. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
66. I Cover The Waterfront
67. Nice Work If You Can Get It
68. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You
69. But Not For Me
70. Always
71. They Can’t Take That Away From Me
72. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South
73. God Bless The Child (1956 Version)
74. Comes Love (Master Take 4)
75. Stars Fell On Alabama
76. Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (1956 Version)
77. Come Rain Or Come Shine
78. Isn’t This A Lovely Day?
79. What’s New
80. Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone
81. Everything I Have Is Yours (“Velvet Mood” Version)
82. We’ll Be Together Again
83. Speak Low
84. I Don’t Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
85. Mandy Is Two
86. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (I’m Savin’ My Love For You)
87. A Foggy Day
88. Sophisticated Lady
89. Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (1955 “Stay With Me” Version)
90. I Get A Kick Out Of You
91. Prelude To A Kiss
92. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You
93. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
94. All Or Nothing At All
95. Just One Of Those Things (Take 8 – Master Take)
96. Darn That Dream
97. I Wished On The Moon (1955 “Stay With Me” Version)
98. Ill Wind
99. Everything Happens To Me
100. I’ve Got A Right To Sing The Blues
101. Body And Soul
102. Embraceable You
103. Day In Day Out
104. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

Solitude - Album by Billie Holiday | Spotify

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