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The Complete Billie Holiday and Lester Young 1937-1946
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Billie Holiday (vocals); Lester Young (clarinet, tenor saxophone); John Collins (guitar, electric guitar); Freddie Green, Allan Reuss (guitar); Tiny Grimes (electric guitar); Edmond Hall, Benny Goodman, Buster Bailey (clarinet); Charlie Barnet (soprano saxophone); Jack Washington (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Earle Warren, Eddie Barefield, Edgar Sampson, Georgie Auld, Joe Eldridge, Bill Bowen, Johnny Hodges, Leslie Johnakins (alto saxophone); Coleman Hawkins, Herschel Evans, Illinois Jacquet, Kermit Scott (tenor saxophone); Ed Lewis, Harry "Sweets" Edison , Harry James, Hot Lips Page, Joe Guy, Roy Eldridge, Shad Collins, Buck Clayton (trumpet); Benny Morton (trombone); Claude Thornhill, Count Basie, Ken Kersey, Joe Sullivan (piano); Cozy Cole, J.C. Heard , Jo Jones , Kenny Clarke (drums).
  • Liner Note Author: Alain Gerber.
  • Recording information: Carnegie Hall, NY (01/25/1937-06/03/1946); Meadowbrook Lounge, Cedar Grove, NJ (01/25/1937-06/03/1946); New York, NY (01/25/1937-06/03/1946).
  • Arrangers: Eddie Heywood; Buck Clayton.
  • Billie Holiday often stated that she styled her vocal phrasing to echo the sound of a jazz horn, so it should be no surprise that she found the perfect duet partner in tenor sax player Lester Young. Lady Day and Pres (they bestowed the nicknames on each other) recorded some 60 sides together between 1937 and 1946, many if not all of which have to be considered classics. This three-disc set collects everything the pair did, including alternate takes, and the best tracks are truly revelatory. Given the obvious musical connection on display in these sides, it is telling that both Holiday and Young died only four months apart in 1959. Apparently the world just couldn't handle one without the other. ~ Steve Leggett
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