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BILLIE'S ART TRANSCENDED HER PROBLEMS
on 19 July 2008
It isn't just the haunting quality of Billie Holiday's voice that captivates the listener, but the unique way she manoeuvred it between and around the written notes in a way that gave an added dimension to everything she sang, whilst respecting the songwriter's intentions. So it is here, in these late recordings, made less than eighteen months before her untimely death. It's short measure, but 45 minutes was fairly standard for an LP when these tracks were recorded, and what could you add that would not detract from what is here? Of course the voice is not the glorious instrument it once was, but to criticise these recordings for that decline is to miss the point. Here was a supreme artist, singing with a degree of poignancy it would be hard to surpass. It's part of her canon, and deserves its place in any collection worthy of the name.