Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smokin' Hot!, March 16, 2010
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
IMHO, 2005's "Jai Deux Amours" and 2007's "Red Earth" were two of the best vocal jazz recordings of the oughts. Although the two recordings were very different (a genuine French European feel and an undeniable Malian, third-world presence, respectively), both well established Dee Dee Bridgewater as a vocal jazz force, approaching living legend status. What could she possibly do for an encore?

What she has done is mine a field mined many, many times before - a tribute to Eleanora Fagan, aka Billie Holiday. That is a tricky thing to do. Any such recording invites comparisons to the best of such recordings and one of the best in history, Carmen McRae's "Sings Lover Man and Other Songs of Billie Holiday." To do a Billie tribute and receive 5 stars from me requires a recording that approaches Carmen's masterpiece.

Well, hush my mouth and call me stupid, but this recording in fact approaches Carmen's masterpiece.

And while my initial reaction is one of surprise, it makes a great deal of sense.

Probably the two most theatrical of all jazz singers were/are Carmen McRae and Dee Dee Bridgewater. To deliver material such as "Strange Fruit," "God Bless the Child," and "Lover Man" takes, first and foremost, a terrific actress who can not only get the words and the music, but can get the feel like Lady Day could. And Carmen and Dee Dee are those actresses/singers.

But the measure of a great jazz singer is how she interplays with the instrumentalists - indeed, how she inspires the instrumentalists. Here, Ms. Bridgewater sings with one of the most professional quartet of instrumentalists currently imaginable: Lewis Nash (drums), Christian McBride (bass), James Carter (saxes, flute and bass clarinet), and arranger Edsel Gomez (piano). And how she inspires these four is a wonderment to behold. It almost isn't fair.

Consider the chorus to "A Foggy Day." With Dee Dee's fractious scatting, Gomez knocks out a response to that call that sounds like 1 part Monk and 1 part Sonny Rollins. An inspired, economical solo, to be sure.

Or consider what Nash does on the break of "Miss Brown To You." His dancing on the drums reminds me of the best of Max Roach - and that's saying a lot, I know.

Or consider McBride's rich, fat comping on his duet with Ms. Bridgewater, "My Mother's Son-in-Law." McBride is blessed with a rich, fat sound; never has he put it to better use than here.

And then there's James Carter. If there is a recording out there where he sounds better than here, I'd sure like to know about it. Consider his wild response on soprano sax on the manic "All of Me," to Dee Dee's similar call. Or his growling, down-and-dirty tenor on "Fine and Mellow," or his heartbreaking bass clarinet on "Good Morning Heartache." Wow - just wow.

And the 5 musicians save the best for last - an outside version of "Strange Fruit" that distills the song to its bitter essence. Truly, I doubt there is a better performance of this classic than the one here. These musicians are smokin' hot, and this puts an exclamation point on the group's fiery performances.

I'm pretty bad at predicting Grammy's in the vocal jazz category. (I know what should be nominated, and I'm almost always wrong!) But that said, I would be shocked if this didn't get a nomination. It's the right artist with the right album at the right time, I think. RC

2/14/11 - This not only was nominated, it won the 2010 Grammy for best vocal jazz c.d. I think this is the first time I've agreed with the N.A.R.A. is a long time....RC
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Singing!, March 19, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
Dee Dee Bridgewater is a fabulous singer and doesn't miss when she puts out some music. This one is in stride! While I don't find it as good as "Red Earth", it is a very good album. The musicians are superb and Dee Dee sings it up.
Sit back and enjoy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best tribute I've heard, March 6, 2010
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
Dee Dee Bridgewater is truly a great artist, and her tribute to Billie Holiday is excellent, full of respect. Buy it with confidence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dee Dee Succeeded In Being Billie The Singer, September 19, 2012
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
Dee Dee Bridgewater was voted #3 in the category of Female Vocalists during Downbeat's 59th Annual Critics Poll along with Cassandra Wilson (#1), Dianne Reeves (#2), Abbey Lincoln (#4), Roberta Gambarini (#5), Luciana Souza (#6), Diana Krall (#7), to name the top seven from among the 15 winners. Ms. Bridgewater certainly deserves it. I have enjoyed most of her remarkable recordings and was so happy when a friend of mine gifted me with this Grammy-winning-tribute-album for my birthday in 2010. This album won the Grammy for "Best Jazz Vocal Album" in 2011.

Dee Dee Bridgewater can exceptionally deliver songs in any style whether she's celebrating Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday, but she's even much better singing in her very own fashion--the Dee Dee Bridgewater's inimitable, impressive, one-and-only style of singing. Her most superlative, beyond compare renditions of songs as my memory recalls are "Midnight Sun" and "Speak Low." In this tribute album to Billie Holiday, "Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee," she succeeded in being Billie The Singer and that is the whole concept of this recording. She gave justice to Billie Holiday's unique phrasing and distinctive style of singing.

Apart from the singer's winning vocal prowess, there are extraordinary talented musicians who lend their expertise in making this top-notch album standout from among the Grammy nominees. They are Christian McBride on bass, Lewis Nash on drums, arranger Edsel Gomez on piano and multi-instrumentalist James Carter on tenor/soprano sax, bass clarinet and alto flute.

Highlights of the program include swinging jazzy numbers laced with clever scatting "All of Me" and "A Foggy Day," the achingly beautiful "Good Morning Heartache," and the heartfelt, emotionally-charged "You've Changed" featuring a great soprano sax solo by James Carter.

Although I'm late in congratulating Ms. Bridgewater and her musicians for making this album a Grammy winner, all I can say is...kudos for a project-well-done!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent as always, August 15, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
I listened to this CD many times on Spotify before I actually decided to buy it...I bought it immediately after watching Dee Dee Bridgewater live presenting this excellent album.

To tell you the truth, her live performance is even better than the disc, and her musicians were first class, amazing!

I love Edsel's arrangements; they're modern and yet still don't lose the Billie Holiday touch, which is what I believe they were aiming at when they created this disc.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars DEE DEE Bridgewater, September 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
Excellent selections.Dee Dee is outstanding. Musical arrangenments superb. Congratulations .I really enjoy this cd and recommend it for all jazz lovers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Eleanora Fagan (1915 - 1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee, July 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
This music will stop you in your tracks, oh yes it makes you feel full of life and joy. When you listen to this CD you will say to your self I need private time for my own personal space.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Dee Dee swings for Billie, February 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Audio CD)
Magnificent, fabulous, hot, swinging - and at times blue - this album is a magnificnent tribute to Billie Holiday...
With the great support of James Carter on various reeds + alto-flute, Edsel Gomez (the arranger of the album) on piano, versatile Christian McBride on bass and hard driving Lewis Nash on drums, Dee Dee does what she does best.
Her voice is strong, her rhythm contagious, her exuberance impressive, as she celebrates one of the best singers in jazz (without imitating her)... There are glimpses of Billie's vocal technique now and then but this is Dee Dee, performing inimitably her own music, mainstream jazz as it is in 21 century (with traces of things that happened after Billie left the world of jazz)...
How sad was I she cancelled her concert in my town due to problems in the air-traffic. I can only imagine how powerful she would be alive if she is smokin' on this beautiful tribute CD (comparable to her own tribute to Ella or, for instance, to Carmen McRae's tribute to Monk)...
She can even sing "Strange Fruit" with originality combined with reverence,
and it is one of the song even Billie's jazz chops were threading a thin line...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee
Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee by Dee Dee Bridgewater (Audio CD - 2010)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.