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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1956 | Clef Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1956 | Clef Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1956 | Clef Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Clef Records

The first of seven volumes to present all of Billie Holiday's Verve recordings, JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC gathers live performances from 1945 to 1947, as well as her 1957 Newport Jazz Festival set and the two songs she sang at the Seven Ages of Jazz Festival in 1958. Throughout, Holiday's voice transcends fluctuations in sound quality to swirl straight into the listener's blood. Lady Day exhibits total control of her achingly expressive, emotionally charged voice and sweeps it through the phrasings of "Fine and Mellow," "The Man I Love," and "Trav'lin' Light" with the fluid ease and interpretive brilliance of a seasoned instrumentalist. There is a noticible difference in vocal timbre in the Newport recordings-- thicker, darker and more bluesy. While not as techinically proficient as her earlier work, there is an appeal to this style as well-- since the sweet, sexy embellishments in "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and the sustained notes in "My Man" suggest new approaches to time and phrasing. JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC is a memorable collection and, at moments, manages to capture Holiday at her finest.