When Sony/Columbia began its ambitious Legacy reissue project, those who followed their jazz titles knew it was only a question of time before the massive Billie Holiday catalog under their ownership would see the light in its entirety. The question was how? Years before there was a host of box sets devoted to her material, but the sound on those left something to be desired. Would they remaster the material in two- or three-disc sets with additional notes? Would it be one disc at a time? Would the material be issued as budget or midline material or at full price? The last item could be ruled out based on the label's aggressive and very thorough packages of single discs by Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and others.
The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever. More than a half-century after her death, it's difficult to believe that prior to her emergence, jazz and pop singers were tied to the Tin Pan Alley tradition and rarely personalized their songs; only blues singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey actually gave the impression they had lived through what they were singing.
After years of reissuing Billie Holiday's recordings in piecemeal fashion, Columbia finally got it right with this nine-CD Quintessential series. All of Lady Day's 1933-1942 studio recordings (although without the alternate takes) receive the treatment they deserve in this program. Vol. 1 has Holiday's first two tentative performances from 1933 along with her initial recordings with Teddy Wilson's all-star bands. High points include "I Wished on the Moon," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Miss Brown to You," and "Twenty-Four Hours a Day."
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra from 1923 through the rest of his life…
Arguably the most iconic and lastingly influential jazz singer of all time, Billie Holiday expressed an incredible depth of emotion that spoke of hard times and injustice as well as triumph. With accompaniment by some of the finest bands of the era, these classic tracks were recorded during her creative heyday when her voice was at its potent best.
Thirteen hours of unreleased and ultra-rare music. The Eternal Myth Revealed is a 14 disc docu-biography of Ra's life and career, from his birth in 1914 up to 1959. In addition to his own music, it includes music he was influenced by, and a lot of stuff he may or may not have had a hand in as arranger, vocal coach, pianist or something else. Sun Ra's output was as prolific as Ellington's, and discographers have had nightmares and arguments attempting to document it accurately.