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Billie Holiday: Lady Day: The Master Takes and Singles

Album Reviews:

Dirty Linen (p.76) - "[The songs] highlight the singer's formative years....Backed by some of the greatest jazz musicians..."

Album Notes

Jazz completists and Billie Holiday aficionados will want to seek out 2001's 10-CD compendium LADY DAY: THE COMPLETE BILLIE HOLIDAY ON COLUMBIA, which covers the legendary singer's entire output on Columbia between 1933 and 1944. Yet that set's price, length, and content (four of the 10 discs are alternate takes) can prove a bit much for even devoted Holiday fans, which is what makes LADY DAY: THE MASTER TAKES AND SINGLES the perfect alternative.

THE MASTER TAKES boils down Holiday's Columbia output to four discs, skimming the cream from the 10-disc set for a listening experience that represents the absolute best from her essential work of the '30s and '40s. Arranged chronologically, the tracks have been remastered for crystalline sound, and the meticulous liner notes and lovely packaging are icing on the cake. The artist's work on Decca, Verve, and other labels will need to be sought elsewhere, but for a definitive collection of her Columbia material (which is generally acclaimed as her finest), THE MASTER TAKES AND SINGLES is unbeatable.


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