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Customer Review

82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate Columbia edition., 21 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia (Audio CD)
Some years ago I purchased a Japanese set of Lady Day's Columbia recordings - I thought I had at last got a complete edition in the best possible sound. Now along comes this set which proves me wrong on both counts - this really is complete but with some contemporary live tracks as well. As for the sound, I do not believe it will be possible to improve on the studio transfers - they are as near to perfect as you can get. The set is astonishingly cheap for what it is - the greatest canon of vocals in the history of jazz - and I have only two minor complaints regarding the booklet. My Japanese set included the words of all the songs (no doubt to help Japanese buyers) and it would have been nice to have included these - especially as not all the songs are standards. The only other complaint is a tad more serious. There is a tendency to be 'arty' with booklet presentation, often making it difficult to read (especially as on CDs the print is inevitably small). The most common fault (which this booklet is not guilty of) is to lay text over pictures. It is important to have strong colours (black/white is preferable) to contrast text in a clear manner. In the disc details at the end of this booklet they have put a light grey text on white and it is VERY difficult to read. If ever they do a reprinting they should correct this. General message to all record (booklet) producers - 'artiness' does not impress - it irritates.

Having got that off my chest, what can i, a mere mortal, say about these recordings. Oh to have been alive in NYC in the thirties. Although no club could have afforded all the talent gathered together for these sessions, there was always the chance to see some of them some of the time - and one had Toscanini and Horowitz as well!

All we have now are the recordings and I thank the heavens for that. People other than just jazz fans should hear these recordings - listen long enough and you will be won over to the greatest voice that jazz ever produced accompanied by the greatest players in the country at that time. I rest my case.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Apr 2010 19:14:20 BDT
An excellent review. I must add my voice to your comments regarding text/graphic comibinations.
They should put the graphics over <--there and the text over there--> and never the two should meet.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2011 01:34:19 BDT
Thank you for your comments - and I agree with your suggestion.

Posted on 4 Sep 2011 17:12:34 BDT
I totally agree about the comments about the presentation of text in the booklets that come with CDs - whether boxed sets or regular CDs. In most cases the text is either too small or has too little contrast with the background for someone with a sight problem to even think of reading the booklet.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2011 00:03:01 BDT
Thank you for your comments - I only wish more people would protest about poor presentation - it always amazes me that professional people cannot see for themselves how poor some of their text design decisions are.
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