Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth

“Revelatory . . . essentially the most rapidly revealing items of jazz biography that I’ve read.” —Richard Brody, The New Yorker
whilst Billie vacation first stepped right into a recording studio in November 1933, it marked the start of what's arguably the main amazing and influential occupation in twentieth-century renowned tune. Her voice weathered numerous shifts in renowned style, and at the present time new reincarnations of her proceed to reach, such a lot lately within the kind of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele.
lots of the writing on vacation has interested by the tragic information of her life—her prostitution on the age of fourteen, her heroin habit and alcoholism, her sequence of abusive relationships—or attempted to right the various fabrications of her autobiography. yet Billie Holiday strips away the myths and places her track entrance and heart, staying with reference to her artistry, her functionality kind, and the self she created and wear list and onstage.
Drawing on an enormous quantity of latest fabric that has surfaced within the final decade, seriously acclaimed jazz author and musician John Szwed provides not only a biography, yet a meditation on Billie Holiday’s paintings and its relation to her lifestyles. alongside the way in which, he illuminates her affects, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, her signature songs—including Strange Fruit and God Bless the Child—and her enduring legacy because the maximum jazz singer of all time.

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37. such small venues may have major impression: Shane Vogel, The Scene of Harlem Cabaret (Chicago: collage of Chicago Press, 2009). issues of appeal for white musicians: Rudolph Fisher, “The Caucasian Storms Harlem,” American Mercury, August 1927, pp. 393–97. don’t take this recording heavily: Kate Daubney, “Songbird or Subversive? Instrumental Vocalization procedure within the Songs of Billie Holiday,” magazine of Gender reports eleven, no. 1 (2002), pp. 22–23. “The Teddy Wilson small workforce sessions”: Teddy Wilson, Teddy Wilson Talks Jazz (London: Cassell, 1996), p. 24. “Good” jazz songs don't continually make for excellent jazz: John Szwed, “Doctor Jazz,” liner notes to Jelly Roll Morton: the entire Library of Congress Recordings by means of Alan Lomax, Rounder documents 11661-1888-2 BK01, 2005, p. 19. vacation sings it in a key excessive sufficient: Schuller, The Swing period, p. 538. model of “Porgy” she sang was once extracted from the opera’s duet: Steven Lasker, liner notes to Billie vacation: the full Decca Recordings, MCA D2-601, 1991. “I simply made a few documents for Decca”: Interview at the Curfew membership radio application, recorded in overdue December 1948 and broadcast on January eight, 1949, on Billie vacation at Stratford ’57, Baldwin road song BJH 308, 1999, tune sixteen. she did personal documents by way of Gershwin: Blackburn, With Billie, p. ninety seven. At one aspect Aronowitz requested Billie: Al Aronowitz, “The Saddest tune Ever Sung,” First of the Month, www. firstofthemonth. org/music/music_aronowitz_saddest. html. She avoids the birdcall-like dips: Humphrey Lyttelton, the simplest of Jazz (New York: Taplinger, 1978), pp. 209–11. the entire whereas she is phraseology around the beat: A moment take of the track at a slower pace exists yet has much less strength at the back of it. In a radio interview Phil Schaap requested Eddie Durham, the guitarist at the checklist, why the pace was once dropped at the moment take. Durham answered that they’d taken a holiday to smoke a joint. Preston Love acknowledged that she continuously listened: Preston Love, 1000 Honey Creeks Later: My lifestyles in tune from Basie to Motown and past (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan college Press, 1997), p. 219. “Fitzgerald, coming into the microphonic arena”: “Chick, Basie Battle,” long island Amsterdam information, January 28, 1938. “The cause of her dismissal”: “Hammond didn't have vacation Fired! ” Down Beat, September 1938, p. 6. Shaw wrote a quick tale: Artie Shaw, the simplest of Intentions and different tales (McKinleyville, CA: Daniel and Daniel, 1989); Willie the Lion Smith, track on My brain (New York: Doubleday, 1964). “In a nook sat a distinguished-looking fellow”: Timme Rosenkrantz and Inez Cavanaugh, liner notes to Billie Holiday’s maximum Hits. “I gave her a list of Debussy’s”: Blackburn, With Billie, p. ninety seven. “She handled me well”: Helen Forrest, I Had the Craziest Dream: Helen Forrest and the massive Band period (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1982), pp. 58–59. nightspot with no racial boundaries: “Mixed Band at Café Society: Joe Sullivan Organizes 1st identify Negro-White Orchestra Downtown,” ny Amsterdam information, November 25, 1939, p.

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