Billie Holiday

The Last Albums (EJC 55705)

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The Last Albums

Billie Holiday

Essential Jazz Classics


EJC 149444

EJC 55705



The Last Albums

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CD 14,99 €



This set presents all of the master takes ever recorded by Billie Holiday backed by Ray Ellis and his orchestra. In 1958, the singer asked Ellis to arrange some sessions for her with a string orchestra. The results were issued as "Lady in Satin" (Columbia CS-8048), which became a big hit and is considered Billie’s last masterpiece. After a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse, her voice wasn’t in top form by this point in her career. However, she was above all an artist, and the poignancy with which she performs the material produced a true classic.

Such was the success of "Lady in Satin" that the singer tried to repeat the formula the following year. By that time her health had deteriorated further, and the sessions were hard for both Holiday and Ellis. Holiday would die before the album was released, which led to its title, "Last Recording" (MGM SE3764/E3764). Both LPs are presented here in their entireties.

Various concert and broadcast recordings from Billie’s last two years have been added here as a bonus. Among them are two rare radio tracks with Percy Faith which are the singer’s only other recordings withstrings from this period, her complete 1958 Monterey performance, her 1959 London broadcast from the “Chelsea at Nine” show, and her Storyville club setfrom the same year, which constitutes Billie’s actual last recording ever.



Ray Ellis and His Orchestra:

CD 1 [1-12]: LADY IN SATIN
Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, February 18-20, 1958.
CD 2 [1-12]: LAST RECORDING. New York, March 3, 4 & 11, 1959.

CD 1 [13-23]: Gerry Mulligan (bar), Benny Carter (as), Buddy DeFranco (cl),
Mal Waldron (p), Eddie Khan (b), Dick Berk (d).
Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, California, October 5, 1958.

CD 2 [13-14]: The Woolworth Orchestra and Strings conducted by Percy Faith.
Broadcast, Los Angeles, California, probably 1958.
CD 2 [15-16]: Jazz at the Plaza: Buck Clayton (tp), Mal Waldron (p),
unknown bass and drums.
Persian Room, Plaza Hotel, New York, September 9, 1958.
CD 2 [17-19]: “Chelsea at Nine” TV Show. Mal Waldron (p) and orchestra conducted by Peter Knight. Robert Beatty (announcer).
London, England, February 25, 1959.
CD 2 [20-25]: Mal Waldron (p), Champ Jones (b), Roy Haynes (d).
Broadcast from the Storyville Club, Boston, April 20-26, 1959.


CD 1: Total Time: 77:26

01 I’m A Fool To Want You
02 For Heaven’s Sake
03 You Don’t Know What Love Is
04 I Get Along Without You Very Well
05 For All We Know
06 Violets For Your Furs
07 You’ve Changed
08 It’s Easy To Remember
09 But Beautiful
10 Glad To Be Unhappy
11 I’ll Be Around
12 The End Of A Love Affair
13 ‘T Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do (*)
14 Willow Weep For Me (*)
15 When Your Lover Has Gone (*)
16 God Bless The Child (*)
17 I Only Have Eyes For You (*)
18 Good Morning Heartache (*)
19 Them There Eyes (*)
20 Billie’s Blues (*)
21 Oh, What A Little Moonlight Can Do (*)
22 Trav’lin’ Light (*)
23 Lover Come Back To Me (*)

CD 2: Total Time: 72:01

01 All Of You
02 Sometimes I’m Happy
03 You Took Advantage Of Me
04 When It’s Sleepy Time Down South
05 There’ll Be Some Changes Made
06 ‘Deed I Do
07 Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
08 All The Way
09 Just One More Chance
10 It’s Not For Me To Say
11 I’ll Never Smile Again
12 Baby Won’t You Please Come Home
13 You Better Go Now (*)
14 Them There Eyes (*)
15 When Your Lover Has Gone (*)
16 Don’t Explain (*)
17 I Loves You Porgy (*)
18 Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone (*)
19 Strange Fruit (*)
20 Nice Work If You Can Get It (*)
21 Willow Weep For Me (*)
22 When Your Lover Has Gone (*)
23 Billie’s Blues (*)
24 Too Marvelous For Words (*)
25 Lover Come Back To Me (*)