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The Commodore Master Takes

Billie Holiday Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 9.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Sep 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Import Music Services
  • ASIN: B00003G1JG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,726 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Strange Fruit 3:130.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Yesterdays 3:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Fine And Mellow 3:180.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues 2:560.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. How Am I To Know? 2:470.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. My Old Flame 3:050.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You) 3:000.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. I Cover The Waterfront 3:340.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. I'll Be Seeing You 3:330.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. I'm Yours 3:180.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Embraceable You 3:180.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. As Time Goes By 3:160.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. He's Funny That Way 3:170.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Lover, Come Back To Me 3:200.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Billie's Blues 3:100.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. On The Sunny Side Of The Street 3:020.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Columbia, Decca and Verve 23 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD
This is Billie at her absolute profound and gentle melancholy best.
Not as bouncy and frivolous as her Columbia recordings.
Not as lavish and opulent as her Decca orchestra recordings.
Not as distressing and troubled as her Verve recordings.
...all of which seem to be available everywhere in cheap 'Best of Billie' bargain sets.

The Commodore Recordings are an all-too-brief moment in her career when her voice and her backing group struck pure gold.

Go on, join the shamefully small club of people who know and love these incredible recordings.

NB: If you buy one of the Complete Commodore sets you may get three or four alternate takes of any particular song in a row.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Commodore Master TakesBillie holiday is one of the greatest jazz singer of all time.If you disagree then get this cd and listen without any preconcieved idea.The sound quaility is hard to believe considering the date of recording.Take for example strange fruit,it is a master piece and Billie Holiday had the gut to sing and record this song despite all these racial abuse.If it was not who she she would one of the strange fruit.Her singing is beyond compare and it is like Maria Callas.All these raw emotion and deep feeling that come deep inside.All these protect songs in the sixties and early seveenties is nothing to compare with the abuse of black people.This is not the point.Get this album and you will not be disappointed and if you I WILL REFUND YOUR MONEY.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fine and mellow 25 Nov 2001
By joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The "official" amazon.com review above says that these recordings wrre made "mostly" in 1939, which is misleading; four of the tunes, among them "Strange Fruit," were recorded then, but the other twelve are from 1944. The reviewer also says that the recordings contain no traces of her later "deterioration," but I hear considerably more raggedness here than on the earlier Columbia recordings. This isn't a criticism; these sides, I think, strike just the proper blanace between the chipper just-one-of-the guys vibe of the Columbias and the sometimes oppressively tragic atmosphere of the later Verve albums.
These are small-group recordings, but the accompaniments are more low-key than on the Columbias and the instrumentalists get much less solo space. So there is nothing here akin to Holiday's relationship with Lester Young on those earlier recordings. On the other hand, the material on the Commodores is superior; she recorded only the finest standards and blues, as opposed to the hokum she was regularly forced to deal with for Columbia. As for highlights, "Strange Fruit" is a remarkable historical document, more effective as moving propaganda than as a popular song. "I Cover the Waterfront" is one of the best versions of a classic tune, and her version of "How Am I To Know?" is especially striking, as she begins her vocal with a dramatically isolated "Oh!" before beginning her mournful reading of the lyric.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billie at the Top of Her Game 25 April 2000
By "bobida" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A highly-recommended CD. If you prefer Billie Holiday backed by a quartet or piano as opposed to a full-scale orchestra, then this is for you. What makes this a treat is Billie's singing, which is o-so sublime. Her voice is clear, full, and flushed with melancholic phrasing, with none of the harsh tone or roughness that was to creep up in time. Put this CD in your player and be prepared to be transported to a dimly-lit cabaret room in the early '40s, serenaded by Billie's warm, sensual vocals. Some of the songs are cornerstones of the American pop catalog (i.e. I'll be Seeing You, Embraceable You...) that have been covered by other artists such as Sinatra, but Billie makes these songs entirely her own.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with Lady Day 5 July 2000
By J. Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Billie Holiday is the most exquisite jazz vocalist of all time. Her voice was like no other, and her phrasing almost always perfect. But even when she was not perfect and her voice a bit ragged, she still had a connection with every song she sang and every song sounded like it was written for her - she could sing anything and interpret every song to fit her own unique style. This is a great CD because it compiles the music from some of Billie's best years. Her voice is top notch on this CD and the band is truly solid. She was always so much more at home with small bands. Though in my opinion not as essential as the Verve collection (Lady In Autumn), this is still a great collection and highlighting Holiday at her peak.
I am hard pressed to think of a Billie Holiday CD I have not thoroughly enjoyed. It is really hard to go wrong with her recordings.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars relaxed and mellow 13 Aug 2009
By Sasha - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Famous detour between Holiday's "Columbia" and "Decca" recordings, "Commodore" dared to record/release "Strange Fruit" and here is the rest.
Besides that famous protest song,the rest is as usual ultra-mellow and relaxed but not so different from what Lady did with "Columbia" - she floats through set of standards (and even re-records her own "I Cover The Waterfront") backed by small combo and is in sparkling form.
If you don't know better,you would think these are her famous small-band "Columbia" recordings.
The very next moment she would switch to "Decca" and sing with strings and backing chorus.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billie is outstanding and so special as always--BRAVO, BILLIE HOLIDAY !!! 13 July 2009
By Matthew G. Sherwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Commodore Master Takes has excellent songs all performed by one of the greatest songbirds ever, that masterful Billie Holiday, also known as "Lady Day." Billie could take anything and make it sound better than just about anyone else ever could; and that's truly remarkable. Billie always sang with a great deal of genuine passion; it's as if she was truly experiencing every little nuance of all the feelings conveyed by the lyrics of the songs she performs. She may have left us all too soon; but of course she lives on very well through her songs and music. The quality of the sound on this CD is pretty good considering the age of these recordings.

"Strange Fruit," one of Billie's standards, starts the CD with Billie singing her heart out; and it has a fine piano arrangement as well. Wow! "Fine and Mellow" features Billie squarely in the spotlight; her excellent diction is impressive and it enhances her performance all the more. "I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues" is very nicely done; Billie gives this the royal treatment and she sways gently to give this blues number just the right touch--excellent! I love it.

"How Am I To Know?" has Billie front and center; the quality of this track is really quite good. The music that plays certainly provides the perfect accompaniment to Billie's vocals, too. In addition, "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)" stuns me with its beauty; Billie delivers this like the champ she always was and always will remain! "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)" is quite a strong highlight of this album; I could never tire of hearing Billie perform this. The brass sounds so good as she sings, too. "I Cover the Waterfront" has a slow bluesy tempo; and listen for Billie to outdo even herself on "I'll Be Seeing You." "I'll Be Seeing You" has always been one of my favorite classic tunes and Billie does great justice to it--it's wondrous!

"Embraceable You" just doesn't get any better than it does when Billie Holiday sings it; she delves deep to make this ballad shine brighter than silver and gold combined! "Embraceable You" is a sublime Gershwin tune that Billie handles with grace and elegance; and the music is equally elegant. "As Time Goes By" was sung by Dooley Wilson in the movie "Casablanca;" and I think he would have been proud of Billie's rendition! "He's Funny That Way" is another outstanding number that Billie aces as effortlessly as if it were mere breathing--but of course we know that it really wasn't all that easy. Billie's talent always carried her through.

"Billie's Blues" is very memorable; and the album ends so very well with Billie Holiday performing "On the Sunny Side of the Street." "On the Sunny Side of the Street" sparkles bright in Billie's capable hands; and it leaves me wanting more.

I highly recommend this CD for Billie's fans. In addition, this CD is so good it's also a wonderful starter album for newcomers to Billie Holiday's incredible artistry.
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