BILLIE HOLIDAY
Rare Live Recordings 1934-1959

[ESP Disk, www.espdisk.com]

I've never fully immersed myself in the music of Billie Holiday. The vocal giant of early day jazz somehow passed me by. Sure I bought a few records and appreciated her voice for what it was, but beyond a bad day when I would spin these, I relegated her to the margins of my jazz kingdom. Sure enough, a number of labels - Capitol EMI, Verve and Columbia - already released greatest hits packages from Holiday, so why should ESP's attempt be any different? For one, the 5 CD package "Rare Live Recordings 1934-1959" is just that - full of recordings that are obscure or ones that were released in small runs. Not only that, but contents of three previously issued ESP recordings are found here. Though I find it hard to pin the reason for this, I enjoy the early part of her career the most. Lady Day was already at her prime right at the start of her work. From the 1934 film "Symphony in Black", she performs a heart-breaking "Lost my Man Blues". Nineteen year old Holiday, backed-up by Duke Ellington Orchestra gives a powerful rendition of the song. You can hear her heart ache from beginning to end. As if to change pace, she joins Count Basie for "Swing Brother Swing". The Prez, Lester Young accompanies her in Count Basie's band of course. This would be a long and fruitful association that is emphasized on other discs of the set. As drug addiction took hold on her life, she would go on to record "Billie's Blues" as part of the first Esquire Concert in 1944. Dueling trumpets of Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge cried out the pain on two other tracks from the same performance. "Fine and Mellow" and "All of Me" are featured from an infamous 1945 Apollo Theater performance. Three years later, she was at the same venue to do a very bare take of "The Man I Love". As to her later work, three pieces are featured from Steve Allen Show from 1957 - among those "Don't Explain" is fabulous, though "When Your Lover Has Gone" is not far behind. Eleven tracks from 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival are featured. All of these see Holiday in top form. Even rehearsals with pianist Jimmy Rowles and bassist Artie Shapiro from the same year don't sound like any throw-away material. In fact as you listen to the goods on this set [and there is plenty of music that goes from good to great], you uncover a side of Lady Day you may not have heard before. You hear the heartache, the pain and the maturity that she hit early on in life. Though some may take issue with sound quality [some of the music was mastered from TV shows and old, disintegrating tapes], I beg to differ. In old, crackly sound, there is real beauty that is waiting to be uncovered. Liner notes are quite detailed and take us on a step-by-step journey through Holiday's personal and professional life. "Feeling cannot be taught. You can teach a person to play the piano?.but the one thing you can't teach is feeling.", says Ray Charles as the final comment on Billie Holiday's music. Truer words couldn't be better said.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Accomplice Affair - Jezioro Wspomnien
+ Sekkutsu Jean + Kawataba Makoto / Sekkutsu Jean + Kawataba Makoto
+ Zdzisław Piernik/Piotr Zabrodzki - Namanga
+ The Limit - Reinventing The Sun
+ Woody -Selected Works 2002 - 2006
+ Rick Wade - The Good, The Bad & The Deep
+ The Vegetable Orchestra - Remixed
+ Soul Designer - Evolutionism
+ James Ruskin - Dash
+ Alexander Roland - Nada Irama
+ Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Serenity
+ Pluxus - Solid State
+ Savas Pascalidis - Deep Red
+ Osborne - Osborne
+ Muting The Noise
+ My Favourite Things
+ The Mole - As High As The Sky
+ Jack Marchment - Corydon & Manjrekar
+ LoSoul - Raw Beauty
+ Frank Kusserow - Atomsplit
+ IMPS - Bring Out The Imps
+ Housemeister - InOrderToDance
+ Housemeister - Who Is That Noize
+ Chris Fuentes - Noir Seven
+ Fenin - Been Through
+ Electric President - Sleep Well
+ The Black Dog - Radio Scarecrow
+ Diamanten & Raketen II
+ Delon & Dalcan -Tanz
+ Classic Cuts - Mixed By Serge
+ Grand Cru 2008
+ Feeling Strange - Jennifer Cardini
+ Falco Brocksieper - Heavy Day
+ Boogybytes Vol. 4 - Mixed By Ellen Allien
+ Bobby & Blumm - Everybody Loves
+ Axel Bartsch - Kiss
+ Antonelli - Soulkiller
+ Alter Ego - What's Next?!
+ Muariolanza - Po drugiej stronie Przemszy
+ Satanicpornocultshop - Takusan No Ohanasan
+ Klangwart - Stadtlandfluss
+ Pedal - Pedal
+ Jasmina Maschina - The Demolition Series
+ David Maranha - Marches of the New World
+ Free Spirits - Out of Sight and Sound
+ Hamid Drake & Bindu - Blissful
+ Kaiser/Noyes/Park - Invite the Spirit. 1983
+ Sound of Feeling - Up Into Silence
+ Michał Jacaszek - Treny

- - - - - - - - -

+ EIGHT PENCE CHAINS - Music is Matter / ELLIOTT SHARP - Octal: Book One / GIL TRYTHALL - Country Moog / Nashville Gold / SOEREN KJAERGAARD / BEN STREET / ANDREW CYRILLE - Optics / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Classic African American Gospel / FRODE GJERSTAD TRIO - Nothing is Forever / ERIK LEVANDER - Kondens / BERSARIN QUARTETT - Bersarin Quartett / M.A.N.D.Y. - Fabric 38 / OH ASTRO - Champions of Wonder / THE WRONG OBJECT - Stories from the Shed / MILTON NASCIMENTO - Pietá / BOBBY AND BLUMM - Everybody Loves? / DJ DOLORES - 1 Real / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Wild Style - Original Soundtrack / BENEVA vs. CLARK NOVA - Sombunall / TSURUBAMI - Tenrin / STEVE LACY - The Forest and the Zoo / MORGAN MITTAG - Digiwatt Lydt / AARON DUGAN + JEFF ARNAL - Dog Day / RENDERIZORS - Submarine / SAMUEL BLASER QUARTET - 7th Heaven / CRACKLE - Heavy Water / MARIE QUEENIE LYONS - Soul Fever / CLARK - Turning Dragon / FRICARA PACCHU - Midnight Pyre / BOXDESERTER - TwoRevolutions / THE FALL - Live at the Knitting Factory L.A. - 14 November 2001 / CLIVE BELL / BECHIR SAADE - An Account of My Hut / COSTA MUSIC - Lighter Subjects / PADDED CELL - Night Must Fall / KLAUS TREUHEIT - Madrigali, 1° libro / PURE SOUND - Acts of New Noise / BORIS - Smile / ARANOS - Mother of Moons Bathing / SCOTT TUMA - Not For Nobody / ETRAN FINATAWA - Desert Crossroads
+ YOSHI WADA - Lament for the Rise and Fall of the Elephantine Crocodile
+ GORDON MONAHAN - Theremin in the Rain
+ SOLO ANDATA / SEAWORTHY / TAYLOR DEUPREE - Live in Melbourne
+ BORN RUFFIANS - Red Yellow & Blue
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Graceful Degradations: Variations
+ THE ADVISORY CIRCLE - Other Channels
+ YITZHAK YEDID - Oud Bass Piano Trio - Suite in Five Movements
+ ORLANDO JULIUS - Super Afro Soul
+ DEBASHISH BHATTACHARYA - Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey
+ FREDERIC BLONDY / THOMAS LEHN - Obdo
+ GABLE - Seven Guitars With a Cloud of Milk
+ FUCK BUTTONS - Street Horrrsing
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Otherness / Periferico - Sounds from Beyond the Bubble / Blood, Muscle & Air - The Intimate Voice
+ GLOBE UNITY ORCHESTRA - Globe Unity - 40 Years
+ ERIC BROCHARD / JEAN-LUC GUIONNET / EDWARD PERRAUD - [on] / JEAN-LUC GUIONNET / TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA - Map
+ CIRCLE - Panic / Rakennus (Live)
>> BILLIE HOLIDAY - Rare Live Recordings 1934-1959
+ LEIF ELGGREN - The Cobblestone is the Weapon of the Proletariat / Is There a Smell on the Other Side? / LEIF ELGGREN & CLAUDE MELLAN - The Sudarium of St Veronica / MICHAEL ESPOSITO, LEIF ELGGREN, EMANUEL SWEDENBORG - The Summerhouse
+ ANNA JARVINEN - Jag Fick Feeling
+ KADAVER - This time...it's cancer
+ MALVINA REYNOLDS - Sings the Truth
+ ROBERT PIOTROWICZ - Lasting Clinamen

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Arsenal of tracks - wywiad z Rickiem Wade'em
+ Smutek gra mi w duszy - Michał Jacaszek
+ CoCArt Music Festival 2008, czyli ulotne brzmienie obrazu