CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index] [ Purchase CDs ][ Film MusicWeb ] [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]


Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



BUY NOW
Crotchet

BILLIE HOLIDAY

Moanin’ Low

50 original mono recordings 1933- 46

Living Era – 2CD Set – CD AJS282

 

CD No. 1

1

Your Mother’s Son In Law

14

You Go To My Head

2

Miss Brown To You

15

Long Gone Blues

3

What A Little Moonlight Can Do

16

Fine And Mellow

4

Did I Remember

17

Some Other Spring

5

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

18

Them There Eyes

6

I Must Have That Man

19

Ghost Of Yesterday

7

My Last Affair

20

I’ll Get By

8

Moanin’ Low

21

Love My Man (Billie’s Blues)

9

Easy Living

22

He’s Funny That Way

10

I’ll Never Be The Same

23

That Ole Devil Called Love

11

Swing, Brother, Swing

24

No More

12

They Can’t Take That Away From Me

25

Strange Fruit

13

Back In Your Own Back Yard

   

CD No. 2

1

I Wished On The Moon

14

Mean To Me

2

Twenty Four Hours A Day

15

A Sailboat In The Moonlight

3

These Foolish Things

16

Nice Work If You Can Get It

4

I Cried For You

17

My Man (Mon Homme)

5

No Regrets

18

I’m Gonna Lock My Heart

6

A Fine Romance

19

All Of Me

7

The Way You Look Tonight

20

God Bless The Child

8

Who Loves You?

21

I Cover The Waterfront

9

Pennies From Heaven

22

Lover Come Back To Me

10

I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

23

Lover man

11

This Year’s Kisses

24

Don’t Explain

12

The Mood That I’m In

25

Good Morning, Heartache

13

Carelessly

   

‘Moanin’ Low’ covers the important years of Billie Holiday’s colourful yet mostly tragic career. The range runs from her first recording with Benny Goodman, ‘Your Mother’s Son In Law,’ made in 1933 up to ‘Good Morning, Heartache,’ cut in 1946 with Bill Stegmeyer and his Orchestra. Most of the material originates from the 1930s and includes many of Holiday’s ‘classics.’ Of the fifty tracks twenty-one feature her with the Teddy Wilson Orchestra and on another thirteen she is accompanied by her own orchestra. Both bands include famous jazz artists such as Lester Young, Benny Goodman, Ben Webster, Walter Page, Freddy Green and Claude Thornhill to name but a few.

Whether Billie Holiday was ‘jazz’s greatest female vocalist’ is debatable and in any case doesn’t matter – she was unique and nobody has successfully managed to copy her. Having said that she was undoubtedly a major influence on many of the memorable female jazz singers. Although the 1972 film ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ implied that she was predominantly a blues singer this is misleading and a glance down the titles of ‘Moanin’ Low’ shows that she could confidently tackle anything asked of her. As Digby Fairweather commented "she ecstatically recreated her songs’ melodies in a small, worldly voice that, in Barney Josephson’s words," "rang like a bell and went a mile."

The two tracks recorded live with the Count Basie Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom in 1937 sum up the complete format of ‘Moanin’ Low’ – fine arrangements and Holiday’s inimitable sense of timing. Another two engaging tracks are ‘You Go To My Head’ which also features Babe Russin on tenor, and ‘Carelessly’ with Harry Carney and Cootie Williams in the line-up.

This is an interesting and well thought out compilation. Currently there is a revised interest in Billie Holiday and the album is sure to be well received even though all the tracks are in mono. It has an appeal that should attract not only the jazz fan but anybody with an interest in the American Songbook.

Jack Ashby



    Gerard Hoffnung CDs

    Advertising on
    Musicweb


    Donate and get a free CD

    New Releases

    Naxos Classical

    Hyperion

     

    Musicweb sells the following labels
    Acte Préalable Arcodiva
    British Music Soc.
    CDAccord
    Hallé
    Hortus
    Lyrita
    Nimbus
    Northern Flowers
    Redcliffe
    Sheva
    Talent
    Toccata Classics


    Follow us on Twitter


    Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter

    Return to Index

    Reviews from previous months


    You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: