The Ben Webster / Harry Edison Sessions (2 CD set)
Billie Holiday (vcl), Ben Webster (ts), Harry Edison (tp), Jimmy Rowles, Mal Waldron (p), Barney Kessel (g), Red Mitchell, Joe Mondragon (b), Alvin Stoller, Larry Bunker (d)
This release contains the complete memorable recordings made by Billie Holiday backed by a sextet including Ben Webster, Harry Edison, Jimmy Rowles and Barney Kessel.
A complete Billie Holiday set recorded live at Newport Jazz Festival during the same period has been added as a bonus.
01. Do Nothin' Til! You Hear from Me (4:14)
02. Cheek to Cheek (3:37)
03. I'll Wind (6:17)
04. Speak Low (4:29)
05. We'll Be Together Again (4:26)
06. All or Nothing at All (5:41)
07. Sophisticated Lady (4:51)
08. April in Paris (3:05)
09. I Wished on the Moon (3:27)
10. Moonlight in Vermont (3:52)
11. A Foggy Day (4:40)
12. Comes Love (Versión 1) (3:59)
13. I Didn't Know What Time It Was (6:02)
14. Just One of Those Things (5:32)
15. Comes Love (Versión 2) (4:00)
16. Day In, Day Out (6:48)
17. But Not for Me (3:48)
Total time: 78:54 min.
01. Darn That Dream (6:19)
02. Body and Soul (6:24)
03. Just Friends (6:29)
04. Stars Fell on Alabama (4:31)
05. Say it isn't So (3:18)
06. Love Is Here to Stay (3:44)
07. One for My Baby (and One More for the Road) (5:42)
08. They Can't Take That Away from Me (4:12)
09. Embraceable You (6:49)
10. Let's Cali the Whole Thing Off (3:26)
11. Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good To You (5:37)
12. Announcement by Johnny Mercer (0:41) (*) Live Bonus Track
13. Lady Be Good (Theme) (0:10 ) (*) Live Bonus Track
14. Nice Work If You Can Get It (2:38) (*) Live Bonus Track
15. Willow, Weep for Me (3:08) (*) Live Bonus Track
16. My Man (3:29) (*) Live Bonus Track
17. Lover, Come Back to Me (2:05) (*) Live Bonus Track
18. Lady Sings the Blues (2:59) (*) Live Bonus Track
19. What a Little Moonlight Can Do (2:53) (*) Live Bonus Track
20. Lady Be Good (Theme & Closing Announcements) (0:18) (*) Live Bonus Track
Total time: 75:04 min.
This edition includes the original Verve albums:
- "Body and Soul" (Verve MGV 8197)
- "All or Nothing at All" (Verve MGV 8329)
- "Songs for Distingué Lovers" (Verve MGVS 6021)
Personnel on all tracks except on bonus tracks:
Billie Holiday (vcl), Ben Webster (ts), Harry Edison (tp), Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel (g), Red Mitchell or Joe Mondragon (b), Alvin Stoller or Larry Bunker (d). Recorded in Hollywood, August 1956-January 1957.
Personnel on the rest of tracks:
Billie Holiday (vcl), Mal Waldron (p), Joe Benjamin (b), Jo Jones (d). Recorded at Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island, on July 6, 1957.
-Body and Soul
"This session comes from close to the end of the line (1959) in the erstwhile swinging company of Barney Kessel on guitar, Ben Webster on tenor, and naysayers will be quick to point out that Lady Day wasn't in peak form here. But Billie Holiday with some of the platinum chipped off the pipes is still way better than a buncha finger-snappin' wannabes anyday. Her interpretations of the title cut, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," and "Darn That Dream" hold you in the palm of her hand with their gentle swing and the band support here is never less than stellar. The Lady sings and swings."
Cub Koda -All Music Guide
-All or Nothing at all
"This set features some of Billie Holiday's top Verve performances from the mid-'50s. She runs the emotional gamut from summery optimism ("Love Is Here to Stay") to pathos-rich musings ("Ill Wind"). Befitting her perennial after-hours mood while at the label, the majority of songs here feature Holiday in a low-down mood of the highest order: her versions of "Moonlight in Vermont" and "A Foggy Day" are classics of the jazz vocal tradition. And the supporting cast isn't bad either, what with the likes of Harry Eddison, Barney Kessel, Ben Webster, and Jimmy Rowles tagging along. A gem."
Stephen Cook -All Music guide
-Songs for Distingué Lovers
"During the six days and four sessions covered by this 1997 CD (which in its original form consisted of six songs), Billie Holiday recorded 18 titles; a dozen of the best are here, although "Comes Love" is unaccountably missing. This were the last series of extensive small-group recordings that Lady Day would make in the studios. Although her voice was largely shot at this point, she puts so much feeling into some of the lyrics that one can often overlook her dark sound. The all-star band (trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, pianist Jimmie Rowles, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Red Mitchell, and Alvin Stoller or Larry Bunker on drums) is a major asset, and there are plenty of short solos for Edison, Webster and Kessel. Holiday does her best on such numbers as "A Foggy Day," "One for My Baby," "Just One of Those Things" and "I Wished on the Moon," and there are plenty of haunting moments, even if one could tell (even at the time) that the end was probably drawing near for the singer."
Scott Yanow -All Music guide
"Billie for me was the incarnation of soul, of living intensity; she was everything that has ever been connoted by the word glamour. She was sweet, sour, kind, mean, generous, blasphemous, loving and lovable, and nobody who ever knew her expects there ever again to be anyone quite like her."
Leonard Feather -Down Beat (1959)
"These were her last studio recordings for Granz and the last in the small-group context she was famous for. Webster is beautiful; the band selflessly reinforce her, but they are able to do so because they are backing not so much a singer as another musician: she is among equals. She ended up doing some of the best of all her work for Granz."