Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Billie Holiday
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 7 November 2012
Billie Holiday was nominated a ¡¥Notable Book of 1995¡¦ by
The New York Times Review of Books

¡¥Stuart Nicholson¡¦s Billie Holiday is intelligent [and] well written...His remarks are often original, putting order into her chaos by dissecting every artistic move...Where Mr. Nicholson excels is in describing song after song after song with their interjected cooings and adulatory supportings by this or that instrumental soloist¡¦.
Ned Rorem, (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1976).
The New York Times Review of Books

Billie Holiday was a finalist in the 1996 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Music Writing

¡¥The best biography of the star called Lady Day¡¦. Daily Express

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s hugely researched biography is the authoritative work on [Holiday]¡¦. Mojo

¡¥An exemplary biography¡¦. BBC Music Magazine

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s rendition of the life that gave rise to Billie Holiday¡¦s muse is wise and an appropriate backdrop to the Lady Day still embodied in those recordings between 1933 and 1959...The book is laid out in scholarly fashion...[his] genealogical work is impressive...[and his] description of Holiday¡¦s drug use sophisticated and thoughtful...This is a very professional biography and probably the standard for the future¡¦. Popular Music and Society (USA)

¡¥With perhaps more success than any other biographer so far, Nicholson illuminates complexities in [Holiday¡¦s] personality, her art and her times that made the singer a phenomenon of American culture. As good as he is in biographical detail, his greatest contribution is perspective on the singer¡¦s creative process¡¦. Jazz Times (USA)

¡¥[Nicholson¡¦s] knowledge of jazz is impressive and he writes about it in a way that will be accessible to the Lady¡¦s numerous fans¡¦. Sunday Times

¡¥Compulsive reading...[Nicholson] is at his best when describing and analysing her often very moving recorded performances¡¦. Sunday Telegraph

¡¥You¡¦d expect original research and intelligent conclusions from the author of the classic Ella Fitzgerald biography, and you get them in his biography of Billie Holiday¡¦. Time Out

¡¥In scholarship and musical insight this book equals the high standard of the same author¡¦s recent biography of Ella Fitzgerald. Anyone who does not already know the outline of Billie¡¦s story will find it equally compulsive reading, but even for those familiar with it there are quite a few surprises¡¦. Dave Gelly, The Observer

¡¥Thoroughly readable, linking nitty-gritty facts, gee-whiz flourishes and well evaluated opinion in a manner guaranteed to keep you flicking pages...make room in the library¡¦. Vox

¡¥Hooray! At long, long last we now have a biography of that incomparable, inimitable jazzlady Billie Holiday which is totally worthy of the subject, and a magnificent, gripping read at that! Stuart Nicholson...is a chronicler of uncommon merit and possesses a knowledge of the jazz tradition of impressive breadth and depth....I cannot envisage a better account of the life and times of a complex, ofttimes buffeted human being as this one. A brilliant, sensitive and sympathetically drawn portrait of..a jazz immortal.¡¦ Crescendo and Jazz Music

¡¥Some of the most trenchant splicings of musical analysis and anecdote ever applied to Holiday. This is a sober, detailed account, but at times it is inspired in its insights into just how and why Lady Day pulls those strings in your heart¡¦. John Fordham, Q Magazine

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s polished, just-the-facts approach to biography...is valuable when it comes to chronicling Billie Holiday¡¦s tumultuous life...We feel free to praise Nicholson for his precise and eloquent analysis of Holiday¡¦s incomparable music¡¦. Booklist (USA)

¡¥[Nicholson] has done his homework well and tells Billie¡¦s story{from wretched childhood to her later tragic excesses{with real feeling¡¦. Daily Telegraph

¡¥[A] sensitive, perceptive biography...[that] successfully portrays both the genius and the tragedy of Lady Day¡¦. Publishers Weekly (USA)

¡¥This scholarly look at one of the giants of American music is a worthy complement and counterpoint to Holiday¡¦s own account¡¦. Library Journal (USA)

¡¥[Nicholson¡¦s] discussion of the musical side of Holiday¡¦s achievements is the book¡¦s most valuable contribution¡¦. Kirkus Reviews (USA)

¡¥Nicholson¡¦s study is first-rate¡¦. Choice (USA)

¡¥The legendary lady gets first class treatment from Nicholson...A captivating biography¡¦. Disc (USA)

¡¥By far the best and most important book ever written about Lady Day¡¦. The Blues News (USA)

¡¥A major new work which is certain to become the standard biography of the greatest jazz singer¡¦. Jazz UK

¡¥A great contribution...the book is wonderful on the arrival of drugs in her life, Nicholson has done terrific research. A very good book and a good read¡¦. Kaleidoscope, BBC Radio4

¡¥An excellent work by eminent jazz writer Stuart Nicholson...Holiday¡¦s relatively short life is so rich in musical stories it is refreshing to read a book about her which comfortably puts more sordid events in perspective and makes extensive accounts of the American jazz and swing scene so readable¡¦. Jazz Magazine International

¡¥Stuart Nicholson¡¦s book is most definitely one for the jazz enthusiast and my number one choice¡¦. Jazz Journal

¡¥Jazz fans and those who like good biographies will enjoy Billie Holiday by Stuart Nicholson¡¦. Feminist Bookstore News (USA)

¡¥Stuart Nicholson has a proven track record in jazz and blues, with superb biographies of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald to his credit, but he excels himself in this one¡Kif you know the songs already you¡¦ll play them again with new ears: if you don¡¦t, oh, what a voyage of discovery you¡¦ll have in store.¡¦ Irish Times

When Billie Holiday appeared in paperback in the US in 1997, it was twice nominated a ¡¥Noteworthy Paperback¡¦ in both The New York Times Review of Books summer and year end ¡¥New & Noteworthy¡¦ collections.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 March 2010
I was excited to get this book - as I am a big fan of Billie's music. One thing I found however with Nicholson's biography is that he focuses an awful lot on the style of music and the technical aspect of Jazz - words like "obbligato" and "elision" - which is fine, if you're interested. If you're not, I think it's quite dull to wade through these parts in order to get to the real gritty reality of Billie's life, her upbringing, the era, what made this woman tick. It seems she was deluded about her life, whether stoned or sober - on the outside she is strong, sometimes rude and unapologetic. On the inside she is tragically sad.
22 Comments| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 May 2017
as stated by others this biog of billie has tons of data on which gig she was going to on such a night. great information but the work is only half the life. a biog is surely an attempt to reveal the life. as much as I like knowing the gig/club information it does get a little stodgy. so I have to say "wishing on the moon" remains the best billie biog for me.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 October 2014
I've treated myself to this for Christmas. Love Billie. Looking forward to reading "the truth" as distinct from the myths surrounding one of the great performers in jazz.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 31 December 2014
Very pleased with my purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 March 2001
Billie Holiday changed the sound of "jazz" music and decades later people still collect her recordings. I have to admit myself I am not personally a big fan of Miss Holidays recordings, but, her life story and hardships endured is well worth reading about. Not only did she have to overcome the racial issues that abounded at that time, but she tried desperatley (and ultimately failed time and time again) to overcome her booze and drug addictions. Many people may relate her life story when they think back to the Diana Ross film version of "The Lady Sings The Blues". The musical element contained within the pages of this book can become slightly confusing to an untrained musical reader, but it is worth perservering with to discover the trials and tribulations that Billie Holiday faced. After reading the book I could understand why she was simple known as THE LADY SINGS THE BLUES.
11 Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)