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on 5 November 2011
A fan of several years, I'd always appreciated the songs, that voice!! and the overall impact. I just accepted that the slightly rough sound was because of the age of the original source material. On listening to other contempary artists, and the many that have followed Billie,I've always though how lucky many were to have a superior sound (Ella Fitzgerald & Sarah Vaughan invariably do, for example). Then I did some research and purchased this. Brilliant sound, probably partially because it is from her later work, so her voice has matured (& won't suit everyone's tastes),but what a wonderful piece of work. Barney Kessel's guitar is particularly noteworthy. Please buy & encourage others to do likewise. Lady Day sounding like she's singing today.
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An unusual title, and I wasn't sure exactly what 'distingue' means - distinguished? distinctive? - so I looked it up, found it can also mean elegant. Songs for elegant lovers. Why not?
There are twelve songs here, recorded in 1957 near the end of Billie's life, all of them well-known standards. She sounds tired, and reliant on mannerism (eg. the 'swoop' she would affect on some notes) but overall this is a lovely set, distinguished by the starry, devoted band she has backing her: trumpeter Harry Edison, the big old sweet tenor sax of Ben Webster, Pianist Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessell very effective on guitar, bassist Red Mitchell, and (mostly) Alvin Stoller on drums.
There's plenty of Billie and plenty of the band, with some superb soloing, and both sound great together. Though she was even closer to death when she made Lady in Satin a year later, I must say I tend to prefer it. It's a sad thing to say, but the Lady sounds like she's sung these songs better before, but having said that, she 's still Billie Holiday and still more than worth hearing on songs like Body and Soul (given a marvellous six-minute workout here), Stars Fell on Alabama, and One For My Baby, a song Sinatra had very much made his own.
A Foggy Day is slightly less convincing, London Town being something of an alien cityscape for Holiday.
This comes in a slipcase, with an excellent booklet and notes. These recordings are precious documents of one of twentienth century popular music's greatest and most distinctive - not to say elegant and distinguished - singers.
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on 5 September 2003
On the back of the classic "Songs for Swinging Lovers" by Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday delivers the ultimate reply.
No other Billie Holiday album touches this little gem for pure crystal clear genius. Short, sharp, to the point with a string of musicians who add the cream to the strawberries, this album is an absolute must for anyone who listens to music. It bridges ages and class, punk, skinhead, rasta, rudeboy or ravers.
Go break your heart, slip this in the player and walk a Parisian bridge. Then dare tell me you shed no tear.
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on 13 August 2013
Must agree with the notes on sleeve, in the sense Billie`s voice was older, deeper and differed from what I had heard before.

However with Ben Webster`s sax in the background quality is still guaranteed, buy with confidence.
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on 22 May 2016
I'm not really keen on Billie Holiday. Bought the CD for the other musicians, especially Barney Kessels.
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on 18 May 2012
Great collection of songs with a superb jazz backing. Billie strays off course quite a lot but that almost adds to the intriguing quality. A good album to have and keep for times when you're in that kind of mood.
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on 18 September 2014
Quick delivery amazing album good quality vinyl
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on 8 October 2014
Excellent!!!
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Strangely I don't do singers, but Billie Holiday is an exception (along with Ella) but then is Billie Holiday a singer or a vocalist? I know that she doesn't do scat a la Ella or Sarah. She doesn't even keep to the beat on some occasions, but Billie is just wonderful and I think that this album is her creme de la creme, the very top, her summit, her seminal album. The whole atmosphere os each track is wonderful not just because of Billie, but her relationship with Ben Webster and Sweets Edison in particular, but Jimmy Rowles and Barney Kessel too. This is truly a wonderful album.

My favourite track is "Foggy "Day", but that is purely personal.

The album is just SUPERB.
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on 4 December 2015
very good
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