2

Ranee Lee: Deep Song: A Tribute to Billie Holiday

Larry Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Deep Song—A Tribute To Billie Holiday is made up of vocalist Ranee Lee's wonderful renditions of classic Holiday recordings. Originally released in 1989, the disc has been beautifully remastered by Canada's Justin Time Records, with two bonus tracks added. True to her style, Lee doesn't try to create Holiday's unique plaintive quality but brings her own warm, earthy individuality to each track.

Pianist Oliver Jones, handles most of the arrangements and also does stellar work in accompaniment. Also backing Lee is the great veteran bassist Milt Hinton, who played with Holiday five decades ago.

Lee was born in 1942 in New York City and is now a renowned Canadian jazz vocalist and musician, residing in Montreal. In addition to musical activities, she writes children's books, as well as being a respected jazz educator. She released her first album in 1989, and was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Two Holiday standbys set high standards here. "Crazy When He Calls Me" features Lee's lovingly wistful vocal, enhanced by a dreamy piano, while the up-tempo romp of "What A Little Moonlight Can Do" finds the band in pleasing unison with Lee's vocalese, the heart of it all pumped by Jones' swirling piano in an Oscar Peterson mode.

The band gets a chance to stretch out on solos in "Them There Eyes," while with "God Bless the Child," Lee is a dead ringer for Holiday as she ups the beat on the singer's soulful masterpiece "Fine and Mellow," from the celebrated 1957 TV show The Sound of Jazz. (For those who haven't checked out this classic hour, there are several uploads on YouTube.)

In the last few years, honors have been piling up for Lee; in addition to the Order of Canada, she received a 2010 Juno Award for her Ranee Lee Lives Upstairs (Justin Time, 2009). In rebirth, this also should be a contender.

Track Listing: I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone; When A Woman Loves A Man; Crazy When He Calls Me; What A Little Moonlight Can Do; God Bless The Child; Somebody's On My Mind; Easy Livin; Strange Fruit; Ain't Nobody's Business; Them There Eyes; Don't Explain; Deep Song; Fine And Mellow; Ill Wind.

Personnel: Ranee Lee: vocals; Richard Ring: guitar; Oliver Jones: piano; Milt Hinton: bass; Richard Beaudet: saxophone and flute; Archie Alleyne: drums.

Title: Deep Song: A Tribute to Billie Holiday | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Justin Time Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by John Sharpe
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "En Corps Generation" CD/LP/Track Review En Corps Generation
by John Sharpe
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.