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Songs For Distingu Lovers (VME - Remastered)


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Audio CD, October 28, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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This 1957 recording is a performance of heightened expression, with Billie Holiday able to shift the mood and meaning of these very familiar songs with the slightest inflection of pitch and time, her phrasing the equal of any great jazz instrumentalist. Her slight alterations to the melody of "Stars Fell on Alabama" suggest more complex texts of song swimming just below the lyric. The tunes feature solos by Roy Eldridge, Ben Webster, and Barney Kessel. Throughout are highlights of shared creativity, while "They Can't Take That Away from Me" is a masterpiece of late swing. --Stuart Broomer

1. Day In, Day Out
2. A Foggy Day
3. Stars Fell On Alabama
4. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
5. Just One Of Those Things
6. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
7. Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
8. I Wished On The Moon
9. They Can't Take That Away from Me
10. Body And Soul
11. Moonlight In Vermont
12. Love Is Here To Stay

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 28, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0000047G1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,117 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "omeoji" on December 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's sad to reflect on the fact that Billie Holiday was a hard-line junk user when she made these recordings. It would be nice to think that she brought about the profoundly relaxed feel of "Day In, Day Out" without the aid of narcotics. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful album in spite of the opinion of some uptight critics that Billie Holiday's late-period sides for Verve were merely the money-grubbing croaks of a former goddess descending gradually into her grave. I can't help but have a relaxed feel-good grin on my face as I listen to these tracks.
This music sounds best late at night--the album has a club feel. The band's accompaniment is perfectly appropriate to that unique instrument they are supporting, Lady Day's voice. The solos are more on the melody than the chords, but since Billie was a pre-Bop singer, this is good. In spite of the accessible nature of the playing, this is not pop-Jazz. Ella Fitzgerald's songbook series for the same label is. Billie, unlike Ella, didn't move comfortably between pop and Jazz. Her late Verve sides are better than the listenable but misguided and overrated _Lady in Satin_ on Columbia. Strings didn't complement her voice as well as a small, tight jazz group. Ella, unlike Billie, could sing credibly in either context.
It should be noted that these performances are also available on the 2 disc set _All or Nothing at All_, but _Songs for Distingue Lovers_ is more beautifully packaged, replicating the original album's artwork and containing insightful 1997 liner notes from James Patrick in addition to a reproduction of the original liner notes. If you have a lover, give him/her a copy of this disc. There's someone I want to give it to, but I don't think she'd accept it, and perhaps this makes the forlorn voice of these tunes sound all the more fabulous.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By 34-year old wallflower on June 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As the back of the newly-remastered SONGS FOR DISTINGUE LOVERS appropriately points out, Billie Holiday's voice did change in her later years. It was much lower & richer in texture, but it was one coming from a life's worth of experience that left Billie both scarred yet still resonant as ever. While the subsequent 1959's LADY IN SATIN would make it all too clear that Billie was nearing the end, 1957's SONGS FOR DISTINGUE LOVERS indicates very little of her short time left & thus creates a masterpiece on the level of SATIN.
The original album only contained 6 songs, kind of skimpy even for 1957, but those 6 songs were all longer than 4 minutes, so time constraints probably were the reason for that. Thanks to Verve Records' extensive reissue campaign, DISTINGUE is stretched out to 12 songs with 6 other songs cherry-picked from other albums. Naturally, old standards & Great American Songbook entries are the order of the day, but Billie proves even the best-worn songs are ripe for a reinvention & on DISTINGUE, she does an excellent job as always.
Definitely the most represented songwriters on the album are George & Ira Gershwin & their always sophisticated tunes are rendered even more so thanks to Billie's gently-nuanced delivery. Only "A Foggy Day" was on the original album, while "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" (taken at a brisk, very jazz-like tempo) & "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (probably the Gershwins' most sophisticated song) appeared on BODY & SOUL. "Love Is Here To Stay" was first found on ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Edward Alexander Gerster VINE VOICE on July 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
On vinyl, this is probably one of the top ten jazz albums I have ever listened to. The CD has been "cleaned up" and enhanced in a wonderful way, and the addition of the extra tracks is rather strange. I agree with another Amazon reviewer that the tone of the whole album is changed. It no longer is a statement unto itself, but rather a compilation of disparate songs.
With that said, the album is now a most satisfying introduction to Billie Holiday for those who may have enjoyed some of her music, but never knew which album to pick. The added tracks are some of her classic repertoire and are excellently recorded and remastered.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By adam on July 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The original album (see reviews below) only included songs 1 to 6, and the reason is obvious. While the performance is perfect as always, and sound quality good, it undergoes a DRASTIC mood change at song 7. From brooding and contemplative to "you say potayto, i say potahto". Who ever added the extra tracks didn't seem to care if they fit the original at all. That said, the album's original tunes are fantastic, and i prefer her voice as it is here - a bit lower and an even more restricted range.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chad A. Lauterbach on December 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Billie Holiday is truly a legend, and the songs on this CD are great. This CD is remastered very well, and her voice truly comes to life. I would also check out the Verve remaster Billie Sings Standards. Another great remaster with great tracks. If you are looking for a start in jazz vocals, Billie Holiday, or just great jazz, this is not a bad starting place. I promise you'll love it. Her voice is truly one of a kind.
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