It never ceases to amaze
me what very talented singers and musicians
do to the great songbook of American tunes.
None of these tracks is any improvement
on the Billie Holiday originals.
Billie had a tragic life;
it started when a neighbour raped her
at the age of eleven. She had a series
of men in her life, of which few really
cared for her and her career was blighted
by drug addiction, but she could still
deliver happy and joyful in her performances
as well as tragic and dismal. Ms Freelon
even manages to turn Them There Eyes into
a tragedy. I am also old enough to think
that jazz is supposed to swing, someone
seems to have changed all that! Doug Lawrence
plays some nice tenor on You’ve Changed.
One track that really swings is Now or
Never and this time with some fine tenor
from Dave Ellis.
When you hear how well
Nneena Freelon performs when she is not
being so clever on tracks like Now or
Never, you can only wish she did more
of it, she has a great voice. Nneena is
a great singer, but she let’s the dramatics
outdo the jazz. I am sure that when she
gets through the clever phase she will
become one of Jazz’s great treasures.