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Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday ("Lady Day") is considered by many to be the greatest of all jazz singers. In a tragically abbreviated singing career that lasted less than three decades, her evocative phrasing and poignant delivery profoundly influenced vocalists who followed her. Although her warm, feathery voice inhabited a limited range, she used it like an accomplished jazz instrumentalist, stretching and condensing phrases in an ever-shifting dialogue with accompanying musicians. Famous for delivering lyrics a bit behind the beat, she alternately endowed them with sadness, sensuality, languor, and irony

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Word from Johannesburg, Part I: Nduduzo Makhathini

Read "The Word from Johannesburg, Part I: Nduduzo Makhathini" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In 1919, the Pasadena Evening Post said: “the friends of Mr. Whiteman have with much enthusiasm bestowed the title of “King of Jazz" upon him." While Paul Whiteman was heavily criticized for wearing the crown, it was not one that was self-attributed or with which he felt completely comfortable. But Whiteman was a brilliant marketer and ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Emma Swift's Multitudes

Read "Emma Swift's Multitudes" reviewed by Eric Gudas

As its title suggests, Blonde on the Tracks, Australian-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Emma Swift's first full-length album, re-interprets songs from the heart of Bob Dylan 1960s and '70s catalog, although its span covers his most recent work. Swift belongs to the generations of listeners who grew up on the songs of Gram Parsons}], Dylan, {{m: Joni Mitchell, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ran Blake / Christine Correa: When Soft Rains Fall

Read "When Soft Rains Fall" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Ran Blake and vocalist Christine Correa have recorded several duo albums together including two on the music of Abbey Lincoln. Here they turn to another iconic singer, Billie Holiday, concentrating on the contents of her final album, Lady In Satin (Columbia, 1958). Lady In Satin is known for its lush orchestral and choral ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Peggy Lee: A Century Of Song

Read "Peggy Lee: A Century Of Song" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Peggy Lee: A Century Of Song Tish Oney 250 pages ISBN: 978-1-5381-2847-3 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2020 A Century of Song marks the centenary of Peggy Lee's birth, but coming eighteen years after her death, the title is a reminder of the enduring legacy of one of the ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

Frank Sinatra: Myth, Reality and a Critic Standing in Line at Arby’s

Read "Frank Sinatra: Myth, Reality and a Critic Standing in Line at Arby’s" reviewed by Steve Provizer

The mere act of re-releasing a 1960 Frank Sinatra album speaks to the fact that his name still creates ripples when tossed into the cultural pond; still has the power to inspire a reaction when other other vocal stars of yore have receded into distant memory. An ocean of ink has been spilled in portraits and ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2020

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal  2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

2020 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27-30, 2020 Above all else the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is a spectacular ten-day event: with around 2 million visitors and 500 concerts on 20 stages, it is ranked as the world's largest jazz ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Meet Andy Bey

Read "Meet Andy Bey" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in February 2000. Listening for the first time to Andy Bey is like stepping into a quiet, still lake. Your foot first parts a surface that's smooth and tranquil, but you can't really tell from that surface how deeply your foot must ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Catching up with Herbie Hancock

Read "Catching up with Herbie Hancock" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in September 1998. Seldom has a musician been so closely associated with two separate musical genres as has pianist and composer Herbie Hancock. Originally introduced to the world as part of Miles Davis' mid-60's group, which also included Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams ...


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