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1. The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
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2. Blues to the Bone
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3. At Last!
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4. Her Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary
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5. Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday
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6. Love Songs
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7. Love Songs
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8. Billie Holiday - Greatest Hits
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9. Billie, Ella, Lena, Sarah
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10. Ken Burns's Jazz: The Story of
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11. Deluxe Edition
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12. Lady in Satin
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13. Lady in Autumn: The Best of the
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14. The Essential Etta James
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15. 20th Century Masters: The Best
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16. Amtrak Blues
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17. The Essential Dinah Washington:
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18. Irving Berlin: A Hundred Years
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19. Time After Time
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20. Glamoured

1. The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
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Asin: B0007X9U2Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 439
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Billie Holiday (1917-59) wore gardenias, was a teenaged prostitute,did drugs, and died with a cop posted outside her hospital bed.But withher gravel-like vocals, and behind-the-beat phrasing, she was one ofthe greatest singers of the twentieth century. This multimedia collectioncommemorates her ninetieth birthday. Two CDs contain forty two of hergreatest hits, from her 1935 stint with Benny Goodman, to her chilling 1958strings album, Lady inSatin. It features her signature songs like "Good MorningHeartache," "God Bless the Child," and her unforgettable anti-lynchingnumber "Strange Fruit." The DVD includes film cameos withDuke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, photographs, posters, rehearsals andinterviews with friends and musicians, including a rediscovered 1956 radiobroadcast with a young Mike Wallace.Her achy artistry is timeless, and asAshley Kahn wrote in his superb liner notes, "Billie will be there tonight,tomorrow night and a long time to come." --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Billie Holiday - by far the best ever
I purchased this collection solely for the DVD that's included because I have all of the other audio material.The DVD is great!It leaves you wishing for more.It's a pity that this is all we have of the best jazz singer of all time.I'd like to see a movie made of her life;a true story, not the bunk that they gave us with "Lady Sings The Blues" back in the 70's.If you do not own any of Billie's music this is a great starting place.

5-0 out of 5 stars The ultimate starting point (collectors take notice, too)!
It seems as if every year or two we're looking at a new and improved Billie Holiday anthology, and THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION is the latest and probably best Lady Day introduction to date.As others have mentioned, this set covers her entire career via 42 tracks on two CDs.The set is skimpy on Billie's first decade (albeit we do get such gems as "God Bless The Child").However, you can easily balance that out by one additional purchase: the highly-recommended 2-CD set LADY DAY: THE BEST OF BILLIE HOLIDAY on Sony, which has 38 key tracks from the early years (only three of which are repeated here).Several key tracks from her 1939-1944 Commodore sessions (including "Strange Fruit") and the 1942 cut "Trav'lin' Light" (with Paul Whiteman) offer further proof of this set's wide reach in covering her career.

Being that the set is produced in collaboration with the Decca and Verve labels, the last fifteen years of Billie's career get excellent coverage.There's a certain point in the 1950s where some Lady Day fans mourn the perceived wear-and-tear in her voice,while others such as myself celebrate the deeper emotive power and increasingly inventive melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic chances she takes with classic pop tunes.Even so, by the final track "I'm A Fool To Want You" (from the much-debated 1958 LADY IN SATIN album) it's difficult for most listeners to not feel 1) pushed away by her fading voice and 2) pulled back in by the communicative power of her heart-on-sleeve phrasing (one error in the set's booklet: this cut is not from her last session).

The DVD has an effective mix of seen and unseen footage.The 1934 and 1946 movie appearances have been issued in their entirety: here we get some highlights.The key bit of material that will attract Billie Holiday collectors is some newly-uncovered 1956 footage from the STARS OF JAZZ television show (three songs), and there is a 1958 appearance, too.The most famous Lady Day clip (1957's all-star jam on "Fine And Mellow") is seen in its entirety.The DVD also has a clip of Billie's key influences Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong, plus lots of other extras that are interesting but mostly not essential.Although some excellent Billie footage didn't make the cut, there's still enough of value on the DVD to recommend it.Add the timeless, extraordinary music on the CDs, and you've got a great introduction to arguably the greatest jazz vocalist of all-time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Lady Day is timeless&Will never go out of style.this is without a doubt the best all around Compilation on her Work&the DVD is a great collection as well. you get a chance to hear her voice&Material through various era's&whatnot. Her voice just had a way of hitting you emotionally that so few Artists ever reach that Zenith. Her Tone&Feel captures so many things all at once. she died far too young.She is One of My All time Favorite Artists in any Style of Music Period.

5-0 out of 5 stars KUDOS!!!
So many great things about this collection its hard to know where to start. This is the first collection to include tracks from ALL the record companies that Billie recorder, not even the Ken Burns compilation touched so much ground. There are tracks that are unavailable in CD until now, like 'Detour Ahead', a classic song. The remastering, specially for the Blue Note and Verve catalog is breathtaking, the best these sides have sounded ever. Package is beatiful, this is one of those Sound + Vision collections, like the Hendrix at Isle of Wight. It includes a COMPLETE sessionography, every session, dates, musicians, places of every song released commercially. It includes a timeline, which is a biography, year by year of the life of lady day,with dozens anddozens of pictures and scans of documents and letters. Wow!! I was really impressed. The DVD also includes a bunch of audio feautures, like interview with Billie, and people who knew Billie. There is a great segment of Billie rehearsing with Jimi Rowles that is pure gold. Live tracks with Basie. The video clips are not remastered, some of them look and sound preety rough. There are more videos of Billie out there, I wish they had included more. The CD's are too heavy on the Verve material, some more Columbia sides with Lester Young could have been better, and where is 'Autumm in New York'? Still, this is a five star collection, recommended both for newbies and long time fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, THE definitive overview .... ESSENTIAL
For years, there have been hundreds if not thousands of imports of Lady Day's music on subpar compilations that don't do her justice, various box sets put out by different record companies in the US (Columbia, Commodore, and Verve all have exhaustive box sets), but no true retrospective that covers the bases in one place.

Until now. This is one of the best collections of songs ever assembled in one place. Previous retrospectives were great, but because they were usually limited to the respective record label, they fell short.

In a way, if it wasn't for downloading as well as record companies finally being more willing to compromise, this probably wouldn't have been possible.

From one of her earliest recording sessions where she sings "Miss Brown To You" to her final recordings where she does "I'm A Fool To Want You", all 42 tracks are classics.

As if that wasn't enough, you're also getting a DVD of rare TV and film appearances, a lot of which have only been seen in documentaries (except the clips from the "New Orleans" movie Holiday and Louis Armstrong starred in and available on Amazon and contains the "Symphony in Black" short) It also has a few rare audio tracks as well as an interactive timeline. The only criticism (other than it having a slightly higher price tag than it should) is that I would've wanted the clip of "Strange Fruit" to have been included on here (unless I've overlooked it or it's an Easter Egg). But considering there's so little footage of Billie Holliday otherwise, the DVD alone is worth getting the collection for people who have bought previous collections.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is a music lover of any age. If you own Jeff Buckley, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra (who was a huge fan of hers) or Nina Simone (or liked Queen Latifah's foray into jazz) this should ABSOLUTELY be part of your music library. If you want to hear what a torch song is and one of the most significant figures of jazz music let alone music, you'll find it here. If you want to hear what is considered one of the most important songs of the 20th Century, it's here.

This is one of the best collections of music ever assembled, and warrants why more artists from the past should be putting out CD/DVD combos... This package is by far THE standard allcompilations should go by, versus the 1 CD packaging done for the millionth time just to keep an artist's name alive.

I can't say enough good things about it.

Frank Sinatra is another artist that should have a comprehensive overview out like this one versusdifferent record companies putting out the different eras. It strengthens a legacy as well as putting something comprehensive for future fans to enjoy.

(Side note: A couple of compilations that I found are called "Billy Remembers Billie" and "The Milt Gabler Story", which comedian Billy Crystal put together (and has it as well). Crystal's uncle Milt Gabler produced Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and others like Louis Jordan and Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock". Crystal has talked about Holiday taking him to his first movie. There's something about personalized compilations that I like though...)

If there's one CD worth buying this year, this is the one. ... Read more

2. Blues to the Bone
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Asin: B00022LJ8S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 762
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Californian Etta James decided against accepting filmmaker Martin Scorcese's personal invitation to sing at The Blues gala in New York in early 2003. The well-celebrated soul and blues queen makes amends here with what is one of the most blues-centered recordings in her expansive discography, bringing her big, no-nonsense voice and her feisty, proud woman's point of view to bear on classics, many identified with Chicago. The likes of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin'," Jimmy Reed's "Hush Hush," and Muddy Waters's "Got My Mojo Working" may be hackneyed choices, but she seizes each of a dozen as her own, and clearly, as she says herself, these are the blues songs that touch her the deepest. No argument here. --Frank-John Hadley ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars ETTA JUST KEEPS GETTIN' BETTA'
The legendary Etta James has said that she was inspired to record this album after seeing the PBS TV series "The Blues" produced by Martin Scorcese.

Referring to the series James said, "What I found was so full of what life is about: being born and dying; joy and sorrow; salvation and sin......As I started reaching deeper I realized that most of the blues of that day was done by men. Women just didn't have the nerve. So I thought it was about time to show them what these songs might sound like coming from a whole different point of view."

Surely can't comment on the differences between points of view but I can say this is one terrific album - a must-have for blues aficionados. "Honey Don't Tear My Clothes" is unbelievable, as is "Don't Start Me Talking."

Featured on the album are James's sons Donto James and Sametto James; guitarists Josh Sklair and Bobby Murray plus harmonica player John "Juke" Logan. Liner notes are by Martin Scorcese.

This one's a keeper!

- Gail Cooke

5-0 out of 5 stars Style and instrumental magic
Etta James oozes style and toughness with grace and her music is all about her perfect tempo timing. This cd is delicious combinations of rhythum and musical magic that is the epitome of Ella the woman but her voice has a rougher texture to it now that you may or may not appreciate compared with her voice from 20 years ago. I love the instrumentals, the arrangements and the emotional intensity of this cd. I have adored many tracks Etta has poured herself into and although this cd is not my favorite, it's still a spectacular gift to the library of recorded music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Etta and love blues to the bone
This is awesome. Everytime she comes out with a cd I think that it's the best she can do and then comes a new one that is even better. I love her voice, I love her style and I love seeing this woman in concert. These songs rock and Little Red Rooster is awesome. I love her jazz stuff too, but when she does a blues cd (like this one) it blows me away. Get this cd and rock out! ... Read more

3. At Last!
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Asin: B00000JNNY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1455
Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nobody sings the Blues like "Miss Peaches"!
Etta James shares her devine gift of a voice with millions who appreciate her wonderful music. The heartfelt "At Last" is the definitive wedding song. The rendition of "Stormy Weather" rivals the Lena Horne version, and "A Sunday Kind of Love" proves that Etta James is American Blues Royalty. When you listen to a heartbroken Etta James declaring "All I Could Do Was Cry", you feel the pain of a hurt teenager. -- "Miss Peaches" is one of the great R&B/Jazz singers of our time. This CD covers 14 of her best loved songs. It is a treasured part of my music collection, and I can highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Sexuality!
Wow! If you're looking for a new way to romance the one you love, look no further than At Last by Etta James! Forget Bolero, lite rock and smooth jazz! Her voice is raw and powerful and will reach into the deepest part of your "soul." Most renditions of Stormy Weather try to be Lena Horne sound alikes and it just doesn't work. Etta James takes the song and turns it into pure heaven with her delivery and straightforward style. I knew she sang At Last, but when I heard the Diet Coke Commercial with I Just Want to Make Love to You -- I knew it was her and just had to find out more! This one cut is worth the price of the CD if you like your blues down and dirty. Many Cds engineered from older sources have the scratchy background (just like an LP). At Last is clear and has an excellent quality. I've listened to other Cds of Etta and this one, in my opinion, is her best. Each song showcases her remarkable flexibility and power to take a simple melody and make it memorable! Buy this one NOW.

5-0 out of 5 stars American Blues = Lady Day, Pearl...and "Miss Peaches"!
Few voices in R&B History rival that of the lovely Etta James. The Blues Legend shares her devine gift of a voice with millions who appreciate her wonderful music. The heartfelt "At Last" is the definitive wedding song. The rendition of "Stormy Weather" rivals the Lena Horne version, and "A Sunday Kind of Love" proves that Etta James is American Blues Royalty. When you listen to a heartbroken Etta James declaring "All I Could Do Was Cry", you feel the pain of a hurt teenager.

"Miss Peaches" is one of the great R&B/Jazz singers of our time. This CD covers 14 of her best loved songs. It is a treasured part of my music collection, and I can highly recommend it!*****

4-0 out of 5 stars Ms. James Is Exceptional!
My goodness. Etta is a goddess! Her voice sounds like an angel straight from heaven. Although Etta's voice is raw and powerful, it has a beauty to it that is completely unique to her. Not to mention, how can you forget the classic songs on this album, like "At Last" and "Sunday Kind of Love". You must check out this album. Etta's voice is like no other!

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful wonderful
I love this CD. I had never heard of Etta James until I heard this CD recently and within an hour I was online ordering it. Very bluesy. Love every song on it. I really recommend it to anyone who loves blues or jazz. ... Read more

4. Her Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
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Asin: B000005KQE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2513
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Whether she sings string-laden pop ballads, lively soul, or gritty electric blues, James's high-powered, enormously expressive voice displays a knack for passionate blues inflections. Emotionally charged ballads including "At Last" and "All I Could Do is Cry" find James blasting through the orchestra with unearthly wails and moans. "If I Can't Have You," a duet with Harvey Fuqua, drops the orchestra in favor of horn-driven R&B and "Something's Got a Hold On Me" is a gospel-flavored romp reminiscent of Ray Charles. A live version of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me to Do" shows her raunchiest Chicago-blues style, and "In the Basement," with Sugar Pie DeSanto, is a funky workout. Also here are three classics from her soul-drenched 1967 Muscle Shoals sessions.--Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (35)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great selection (but oh those abrupt fade-outs)
There are numerous repackagings of Etta James' Chess recordings and they all have something to recommend them. As an intro to this great singer's work, however, this collection is hard to beat. All her classics, from the elegant "At Last" to the soulfully rocking "Tell Mama" are included here. No doubt some listeners will prefer one side of her musical personality to another, but her versatility is genuine, and it's impossible to imagine her limiting herself to just one genre. A live version of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me To Do" prefigures her more recent forays into rootsier blues. And "All the Way Down," produced by Gabriel Mekler, has all the funk of a Sly & the Family Stone track. Etta can and does do it all. The only problem with this collection--as one other reviewer has pointed out--is the fact that too many tracks come to an abrupt ending. (You can't even really call them fade-outs: they just stop.) Still it's wonderful to have so much great Etta on one disk, that's something of a quibble. Very good, informative liner notes by Peter Grendysa.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not only a Drag Queen, but a tremendously gifted singer!
Etta James was born, Joshua James Etters, in Atlanta, Georgia on May 23, 1930. The world now knows him as Etta James, the soulful and powerful voice behind the legendary "background song", AT LAST. When I first heard this beautiful song I was watching television in my Manhattan apartment. It was, as I recall, a commercial for Jaguar Motors. I leaned forward in my chair, stared at my TV and said, "WOW!" It was then and there that I set out to learn all I could about the overweight, poor little farmer's son who grew up to be one of the world's greatest female impersonators...a true drag diva before the word and genre was fashionable. This CD says it all. Lean back and imagine that you are driving your '62 Buick to the Jersey Shore... Kennedy's is President and..."LIFE IS LIKE A SONG".

5-0 out of 5 stars Miss Peaches Stands Apart From The Crowd
When songwriters Harry Warren and Mack Gordon had their composition At Last become the B-side to the 1942 Glenn Miller # 1 hit (I've Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo, they probably thought they had died and gone to Heaven. Especially when it too charted at a respectable # 14 with Ray Eberle doing the vocals. A decade later they struck paydirt again when the song was resurrected in the movie Orchestra Wives and then taken to # 2 by Ray Anthony & his orchestra.

But the best was yet to come, and when a 23-year-old from Los Angeles by the name of Jamesetta Hawkins decided to record it in 1961 under her stage name Etta James, from that point on it became HER song. It may not have done as well on the pop charts as the earlier versions [# 47] but it did become a # 2 R&B and is, by any standard, the best version of that enduring love song.

Her career had actually commenced in 1955 when, at age 17, she recorded an "answer" song to the 1954 # 1 R&B hit Work With Me Annie by The Midnighters [Hank Ballard and crew]. Also known as Roll With Me Henry, and with Richard Berry providing the bass male vocal, it too reached # 1 R&B early in 1955 as The Wallflower as by Etta James and "The Peaches" [hence the later nickname]. That same year Georgia Gibbs would have a # 1 pop with it as Dance With Me Henry.

Later that year she would have her second hit single when Good Rockin' Daddy climbed to # 8 R&B with the backing of The Dreamers, a group that included the great Jesse Belvin, and Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra.

Personal problems then set in, and Etta would be off the charts until early 1960 when she returned with the stirring ballad All I Could Do Was Cry, which scored on both the R&B [# 2] and pop [# 33] charts. And from there right through to 1976 she would be seldom off the charts, racking up another 27 R&B hits and putting 26 more on the pop charts.

This CD gives you the best of those along with nine pages of liner notes by Peter Grendysa of Words On Music Ltd., a partial discography of the contents [no chart information], and two more nice photographs of Etta, who was inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame in 1993.

Just 65 years old, Etta is still wowing them in personal appearances. This is a must-have compilation for any true R&B fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars The place to start
This is the bare essentials. For those wishing to sample Etta James Hawkins' classic period at Chess Records without going for the box set anthology, this single-disc is the perfect purchase.

Featuring 20 of the tracks that appear on the double-disc "The Essential Etta James", without anything literally essential left off, this is the one-stop, first-time purchase for those who wish to sample Etta's mixture of soul, R&B, blues and, well, pop.
4 1/2 stars. There is no better starting place than this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Etta rocks!!
This Cd is great.Etta can really wail out a tune and put so much emotion into every song.All the songs on this disc are great.I highly recommend it. ... Read more

5. Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday
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Asin: B00005Q45Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3582
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars A "Politically Correct" Compilation?
A 2-CD "best of" compilation for Billie Holiday without "Strange Fruit" doesn't make sense, but historically record labels have been reluctant to include this song. I wonder whether their reasoning is that the song's lyrics, about the lynching and hanging of a black from a tree, are unsuitable for mainstream audiences, which implies that they thought Holiday had crossed the line from blues or jazz (I think she's a blues singer through and through) to pop. After all, many blues recordings contain lyrics just as if not more gruesome than "Strange Fruit", but that doesn't result in their getting left off the compilation disks. If we can't hear the Holiday version of "Strange Fruit", then the soundtrack to "Lady Sings the Blues" by Diana Ross has a version of the song that is pretty convincing.

5-0 out of 5 stars regarding the absence "Strange Fruit"
A couple reviewers remarked about the absence of "Strange Fruit" from this compilation. The reason for its absence is very simple: Billie did not record the song for Columbia. If you want "Strange Fruit," get _The Commodore Master Takes_ or the Verve compilation _Lady in Autumn_.

"Strange Fruit" is missing because Columbia was afraid to touch it in the late 30s, not because of any current "political correctness." I'm pretty sure they'd love to have the song now.

Most major jazz artists recorded for many different labels, so "best of" and "greatest hits" compilations usually aren't as comprehensive as we might wish them to be. Usually you have to buy two or three different sets to touch on all the major bases.

5-0 out of 5 stars Descent Compilation
Apart from the fact that some of my favorite Billie Holiday songs are missing...its still a very good intro to those first timers. I first heart HOliday when I was 18 years old..and 5 years later...I still can't get enough of her ...she's such a great singer...along with Ella Fitzgerald she is the only one who can bring me to tears.

4-0 out of 5 stars Incomplete Sampler
Far from being a jazz buff, I'd still take issue with the other recommendations of this set to be a sufficient Billie Holiday sampler for the general public. The single most important reason - it's missing "STRANGE FRUIT".

It is Jazz's "Guernica", and therefore belongs in *any* Billie Holiday collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Billie Holiday collection!!!
I have so enjoyed this album! All the favorite jazz songs sung by the beautiful crooning voice of Holiday! If you are a jazz fan, you don't want to miss this CD! ... Read more

6. Love Songs
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Asin: B000056PPZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3622
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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She's no stranger to the towering highs and lows of the heart, and Etta James's soaring, gospel-tinged pipes match up well with the rigors of unabashed bliss. Happily, the good people at Chess Records recognize this, and they have thoughtfully collected some of the best examples into one tidy record. Kicking off with her classic treatment of "At Last," the collection moves through the lilting strings of "My Dearest Darling" on into the expressive tones of "I Want to Be Loved (But Only by You)" with grace and emotional candor. James can be simultaneously tender and deeply honest and her ability to express the desperate joy that is the soul of love remains one of life's marvelous pleasures. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Whether you¿re in or out of love, At Last...
If I could have bought it for only one song, it would be "At Last." I've heard it all of my life. I've heard the voice all of my life. I've known the song all of my life... but Etta James, until recently, has been that mysterious and familiar voice whose identity is not mine to know.

I accidentally pushed the wrong button on a bar-room jukebox and heard the song... AGAIN. The luxury of this accident afforded me the privilege of knowing just who this mysterious voice is and I shall admit that AT LAST I know, and it pleases me.

James has this silky, nonchalant voice that sings of love and sometimes heartache. The music would be the best medicine for dear listener who requires sad love songs for the misery-loves-company-of-the-broken-hearted or the very same song for the couple in love. It is versatile entertainment, and very much enjoyable for just the right audience.

5-0 out of 5 stars the soulful Miss Peaches
Etta James' big, brassy and bold voice sings some great love songs in this bluesy, R & B collection, starting with her 1961 hit of the Warren/Gordon "At Last", which is one of the standouts. Others include another hit from 1961, "Trust in Me", and an earthy, scrumptious duet with Harvey Fuqua (lead and founder of the Moonglows), "If I Can't Have You". I also like her take on the Gershwin brothers' "Someone to Watch Over Me", with Ira's terrific lyrics; I always appreciate his split phrases, like "Although he may not be the man some / girls think of as handsome"

With the exception of "Lovin' Arms" which was recorded in 1974, and the cover of The Association's "Never My Love" (1973), these recordings are from the '60s, but Etta is a classic singer, and never sounds dated. Digitally remastered, they did a good job of the audio quality, with crisp highs and nice depth. there are no liner notes in the foldout insert which only includes a song list, and the total time is 45'48.
Fondly known as Miss Peaches, one wonders if Etta's huge voice, with it's powerful, slightly abrasive top notes, would have become more famous had she not been shadowed and hindered by personal problems; Etta is a major song stylist, appealing to listeners of jazz, R & B, soul, and blues, and this is a fine compilation for fans of this splendid artist.

4-0 out of 5 stars Soul Stirring
Miss Peaches is her nick name huh? Well her music is certainly sweet. When I purchased this CD a few years ago, I was really in a bluesy state of mind and remembering feeling very mellow and encouraged when listening to Etta's very soulfoul voice. She is so intense on the song Trust in Me and sweet as ever on I Want to Be Loved. Her version of Someone to Watch over me will bring you to tears (it did for me anyway, music is my therapy!). I loved this Cd and have since purchased The Chess Box-a 3cd set of her greatests songs. Wonderful. I love Jamesetta...

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Etta!
Buy it. Don't even hesitate. Every song is great,
the best. "At Last" gave me chills in 1958 as a young
teenager falling in love for the first time. Now, over
40 years later, I'm still getting chills every time I
listen to it. "How Do You Speak To An Angel" and "Again"
are two more that I have discovered and move me beyond
words. I love this CD!

5-0 out of 5 stars Etta James a true jazz women....
I have been a fan of miss james for a long time since as far as i can rememeber........
This woman's voice is incredible...her barritone is so sultry and sexy...the way she sings is like velvet it's so smooth and sexy...
Miss james signature song is one of the greatest love songs of all time" AT LAST" beautiful love song...
this album is a collection of love songs that miss james has recording hense the albums name Love songs...
this is a stunning collection...
This is a must for any Etta james fan.. ... Read more

7. Love Songs
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Asin: B000002ACT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2195
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Culled from the Columbia Records reissue packages, variously released under the multivolume Quintessential Billie Holiday umbrella, this package goes straight for the love songs, the heart of Holiday. Ranging from such playful lyrics as "Let's Do It" and "Them There Eyes" to such essential Holiday as "You Go to My Head," "The Very Thought of You," and "Easy Living," this set is guaranteed to keep the home fires burning brightly. Lay this one on your lover next Valentine's Day. As was so frequently the case with Holiday, the ensemble support is impeccable, including many of the swingers from Columbia's Greatest Hits package. The bonus here is Count Basie on piano, leading his swinging big band on "They Can't Take That Away from Me." --Willard Jenkins ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars You ain't heard these songs 'til you hear Billie singin' em
It's one of those names that e'ybody's heard, but lotsa people, 'specially my age group (the under-25 category), have yet to truly embrace. But, lemme tell y'all that Lady Day was one of a kind. There's been certain vocalists over the past century that have an alluring quality about them and who's impact has etched them into history, allowing them to constantly be re-discovered by a new generation. It's when music becomes more than music. It's when it becomes a part of our collective conscious and everyday lives. Billie Holiday is an artist that my ol' grandmother used to listen to, and she probably woulda never thought that I would be comin' home from work, sittin' back in my easy chair, and listenin' to these old songs from the 30s and 40s crackle out of my stereo speakers. As with all the great singers, I feel every word she sings. While there are many legendary jazz musicians that are providing her with her backdrop, including Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Lester Young, and others, Holiday's delivery is the real showcase. She sang straight from her gut. Her voice is smooth and rough, rich and gritty, raw and lovely, all at the same time. These are all sweet, romantic and cherishable love songs that are absolutely timeless in appeal. The story of her life is certainly a tragic one, but hearing her sing these wistful and almost-innocent numbers you'd never know it. If you've never listened to Ms. Holiday, don't deprive yourself of such great music any longer. This is a great place to get started. Chances are, once you hear this, you'll want to hear more. As for me, I think I'm gonna go crack a few brews, sit in my easy chair, put my feet up, and put this in my stereo. Ahhh, yeah, it doesn't get much better than this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Billie Holiday primer w/best sound possible
This compilation collects the very love songs from what is probably Billie's best records, the early Columbia (Brunswick/Vocalion) records. Those records do not equal her later records in terms of recording quality nor does it match the nuanced phrasing of her Verve records. What they have going is a young and fresh sounding Billie fronting unbeatable arrangements and performances. They also have some great upbeat material that would become increasingly absent towards the end of Billie's recording career, showing just how much she could do (as her voice faded, she became less capable of handling such material convincingly).

All the Columbia material was collected on the 9 volume "Quintessential" set, but unfortunately, while half of the stuff is pure gold, there's also a lot of dreck. Furthermore, all 9 volumes have poor, compressed sound, and some great stuff comes off limp and lifeless. "Love Songs" rectifies this, and it's just amazing how much better everything is once it's been put through Sony's 20-bit fairy dust. Now if they would only go back and re-do it all in a tightly packaged 6 CD set...

5-0 out of 5 stars Some of the finest from Billie Holiday 1935-1941
"Love Songs" is, along with "Lady Day Swings", the best compilation of Billie Holiday's recordings. This is one of those definate essential CDs that everyone must have. These recordings date from 1935-1941.

The best songs on this disc for me are: "The Very Thought of You", which is one of the all time great Billie Holiday recordings, "All of Me", "Me, Myself And I", "Them There Eyes", "The Way You Look Tonight". The songs on this album, are absolutely the best, and it does not include a single bad one here. This is absolutely classic Billie Holiday.

Then just look at the great musicians that are here to accompany her on these recordings. Leslie Johnakins, Eddie Barefield, Hymie Schertzer (alto saxophone), Lester Young (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Ben Webster, Chu Berry, Babe Russin, Vido Musso (tenor saxophone), Roy Eldridge, Buck Clayton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Jonah Jones, Charlie Shavers, Shad Collins, Emmet Berry (trumpet), George Hunt, Benny Morton (trombone), Buster Bailey, Jimmy Hamilton, Prince Robinson (clarinet), Count Basie, Teddy Wilson, Claude Thornhill, Eddie Heywood, Margaret Johnson (piano), Freddie Green, John Collins, Al Casey, Allan Reuss (guitar), Walter Page, Milt Hinton, John Kirby, Ted Sturgis, John Williams (bass), Jo Jones, Gene Krupa, Cozy Cole, Kenny Clarke, J.C. Heard (drums).

The recordings have been digitally remastered by Mark Wilder, and he has done such an excellent job at it. These recordings sound brilliant. There are also good liner notes by Delfeayo Marsalis. I always think a CD should come with liner notes. Billie Holiday beats all of the other jazz singers by far, and this CD is a great choice to add to the collection. This is one of my most listened to CDs. Its a must own. Very highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Billie is Wonderful BY DARA TILLERY
BILLIE WAS AN INSPIRATIONAL AND CONTREVERSIAL SINGER.Her singing is beautiful when she sings she touches others heart. this c.d is most definetely beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite single album.
When my boyfriend bought this for me I was so happy and I remember I would play this music and sing for him in the car on cool dark, starry nights and I would be mesmerized not only by the intensity of those nights, but by the music she sang and how she deeply, richly portrayed those songs. She really knew how to set the mood for any lover or lonely lover as well. I totally recommend this CD to start if you have not heard much of her music...SHe truly is addicting once you hear these songs...These songs will definetly put you in an enchanting and romantic journey. ... Read more

8. Billie Holiday - Greatest Hits (Sony)
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Asin: B00000FC7M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1814
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Curiously, yet not surprisingly given the enormity of his sway, Billie Holiday's greatest vocal influence was "Pops"--Louis Armstrong, whose trumpet was his first signature (though he's often credited with being the first great jazz singer as well). One hears Armstrong in Holiday's sense of phrasing, timing, and the warmth she invests in a lyric. This package, containing such touchstone Holiday renderings as "I Cried for You," "Body and Soul," and "When a Woman Loves a Man" (poetic, given the fact that Billie was notoriously unlucky at love), also boasts her signature song, "God Bless the Child." Her accompanists are a hall-of-fame lot, including trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Buck Clayton; saxmen Lester Young (with whom she had a close relationship), Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, and Harry Carney; drummers Cozy Cole and Jo Jones; bassists John Kirby and Walter Page; and her frequent pianist, Teddy Wilson. --Willard Jenkins ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh What a Little Billie Can Do.....
This review refers to the Audio Cassette of "Billie Holiday..Greatest Hits"(Columbia).....

So there I was on a hot and smoggy afternoon, on an L.A. Freeway stuck in rush hour traffic, with plenty of time to choose just the right music to spend the two hours it would take to go the ten miles home. Rummaging through my tapes and rejecting most, there she recently purchased Billie Holiday tape. I popped it in and spent the most delightful time in my car with this music.

Billie's soulful,soothing and uniquely recognizable vocals, accompianied by such greats as The Teddy Wilson Orchestra, Count Basie and His Orchestra, Lester Young on Sax, Buck Clayton on Trumpet, Freddie Green on Guitar,Jo Jones on Drums, and many more wonderful artists,had me smiling and took me away to another time and place. I loved it so much I listened to it several times on the drive.

The album is a great mix of Blues, Standards and songs that just say "Billie!", and You may just want to sing along.This wonderful treat includes "A Sailboat in the Moonlight"(Lombardo/Loeb)), "I Can't Get Started"(Gershwin/Duke),"Solitde"(Ellington/Mills/Delange),"God Bless The Child"(Holiday/Herzog),my personal favorite, "What a Little Moonlight Can Do"(Woods), the oh so marvelous "The Very Thought of You"(Noble), and of course "Billie's Blues(I Love My Man"). There are thirteen intoxicating tracks in all(see buying info for complete list), that will have you humming them for days after.

It's a very good recording of these old songs, although a little low and does have to be turned up a few notches in volume. You'll be under the infulence of Billie from the minute you start won't care about that guy who just cut you off!!!!

A great addition to your Billie Holiday collection or a great way to get to know her! But watch out! You may get hooked!


5-0 out of 5 stars Classic and wonderful
I really enjoyed this particular selection of Holiday's work. I looked everywhere for a compiliation CD that included "The Very Thought of You" (my copy of Lady's Decca Days didn't) and this one had it, along with other songs that weren't included on Decca Days either. Short of purchasing a wildy expensive boxed set of her work, I would reccomend this for anyone even remotely interested in the talent of Billie Holiday: the sound quality is excellent and the choice of songs is great, as well. Even the liner notes are an welcome addition---they include an informative bio about Billie as well as her rise to fame and anecdotes from some of the people she worked with.
As a side note, the only song I would have added to this collection is "Strange Fruit," one of the most haunting and politically-charged Holiday songs to date. If you get a chance to hear that, you'll be doing yourself a favor. Otherwise, this album is a great choice.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great music to listen to when you're sad
...Fortunately, this CD contains recordings made in her early years (1930's) when her voice had not yet been affected and when her phrasing was innovative and inspired.

I enjoyed the first half of the CD more so than the second half mainly because the last 6 tracks are quite melancholy. ... This is real blues music from a woman who experienced nothing but the blues.
I enjoyed the opening, peppy teaser "Miss Brown to You", including a more somber "Some Other Spring". But I would have to say my favorite track is the unabashedly romantic "Sailboat in the Moonlight".

I was surprised at the lyricism of the songs. This is more like poetry set to jazz and blues chords. ..

4-0 out of 5 stars Great, but could be better
An excellent collection from the most beautiful and sensuous voice the world has ever heard. However, a little short, and not enough from her later period. Still excellent and beautiful, but it makes you want more!

5-0 out of 5 stars The harsher the experience, the greater the art.
The sweet voice of lady day tells many stories. The mellow style, the fine jazz base, the high pitched voice. A small part of black history lies within the album.

Many of the songs are unheard of, and to many the name Billie Holiday meerly rings a bell. Having heard the lyrics and finding out what Billie Holiday represents it's hard not to be inspired.

Billie Holiday was born in Baltimore, on 7th April 1915. Her life story was a tragic one right to the very end. Having been raped at the age of 11, having worked as a prostitute, having been addicted to the pulses of heroin and then living all this through the era of apartheid. Her music therefore comes from the heart.

The blues tells the sad stories but yet remains life affirming at the same time. Living in an era with little hope, her music tells you to dream a little more, teaches you what a "little moonlight can do". The songs have a quality which is timeless.

Her songs also show a little more about the society in which she had lived. "Georgio on my mind" and "God Bless the child" and other such songs. It contains the strong spirits that black women had to have.

Billie Holiday had died in 1959 through a drug related death. The life full of tragedies and contradictions had passed away but her songs have lived on still containing the same emotional dynamite. The album is an essential tribute for someone that represents so much. Her mellow jazz sounds are timeless. The album manages to bring an essential part of black history alive! ... Read more

9. Billie, Ella, Lena, Sarah
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Asin: B0000029FJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4192
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Creme De La Creme
There are not enough adjectives for the tremendous impact of this recording - all it takes is one play - one memory - cascades! These ladies are to "Die For".

5-0 out of 5 stars Billie, Ella, Lena, Sarah - their best was yet to come.
This collection was first issued in the mid '50s as "Ella, Lena and Billie" - Sarah was added later - and if you don't know these great vocalists by their first names, you must be from the Moon. The sessions by Billie and Ella are from the '30s, and Lena's sessions are from 1941. Most of these numbers were recorded with a Teddy Wilson-led band which included several of Basie's sidemen. The Sarah Vaughn numbers were recorded in 1950 with a lineup that included Miles Davis on trumpet. It's wonderful to hear these singers in the early stages of their careers. The sound quality is better than one might expect.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great sample of early jazz queens !!
This album introduced me to jazz a couple of years ago. Now, I'm a big fan. I know the work of Amstrong, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Nina Simone and others. Still, this is the best I have.The lyrics, instrumental richness and even the imperfect recording quality makes it really charming and beautiful. Horne's emotion in "Prisioner of Love" and all Sarah's performances give it an extra star. ... Read more

10. Ken Burns's Jazz: The Story of American Music
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Asin: B000050HVG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1252
Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love Jazz 2000
I Love Jazz is a sampler that comes out every so often that tries to take the biggest jazz hits of its time and put them onto a single disc. This is kind of like that in a much larger and ambitious scope. Even at five discs, it still feels like a sampler! While I enjoyed this set immensely, I still have the feeling that something is missing.

Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington are well represented here, as they should be. It is a joy to listen to music I wasn't as familiar with such as Coleman Hawkins and many of the earlier cuts. The sound quality is pretty good, especially for recordings of the earlier eras.

After listening to this, I felt that the history of jazz ended at about 1970, when obviously it did not. Fusion, Latin, Cool, and Avant Garde did not receive enough attention. Probably due to contractual restrictions, some artists only receive either a mention or are missing entirely. Only one track for Art Tatum, Mingus, Weather Report, and Stan Getz, ECM artists missing entirely, no John McLaughlin (as leader), McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans (as leader), or Art Blakey (although he does get his own disc in this series).

Every jazz afficionado will have their own ideas of what should be on here. This set serves a great purpose in showing how jazz and history affected each other and a glimpse of the talented artists behind the music. This set is a generous sampling of a great and wonderful iceberg and should be used as a springboard for a lifetime of exploration into jazz. At least the likes of Kenny G, Dave Koz, and John Tesh are nowhere to be found on this set.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very fine introduction to jazz
The box set is rather like the documentary film: toploaded with dixieland-swing-bop, then a futile effort to cram all the postbop period into too little space. If anyone tried to sum up the history of rock n' roll in 5 CDs, imagine him cramming everything since the Summer of Love onto the last disc. If the Doors and Pink Floyd got left out of such a set, or a label like Atlantic was virtually overlooked, people would be upset then, too. It's not snobby to complain that Bill Evans or a Rahsaan Roland Kirk are left out here, or that Burns practically ignored Blue Note Records in his history. Stakes are high here. It's important that certain figures are not forgotten in the history just because Ken Burns could not find space for them in his canon.

However, despite the limitations of the project, this box is still a darn good introduction to jazz music. The selections might have been broader if pre-bebop had its own 3-CD set, and postbop had its own 4-CD set; but, this way, someone who is beginning to get into the music might get a better picture of the total continuity running from early New Orleans through some of the postbop movements. When I was starting out, I had to piece things together from odd records found at the library, until I got to college and could take a Jazz History class. If this sort of set had been presented to me at the start, I would have been in heaven.

If you're just getting interested in jazz, buy the set. Read the notes, take note of the names of sidemen (who may have led great sessions of their own, not represented here), pick up an album guide or two, check out some musicians who aren't in this set, join the conversations on jazz bulletin boards, and, most of all, enjoy the music. Once you jump in, there's no end to the worlds you might discover in jazz.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too much, too little
Contrary to what some reviewers have stated, this is not a good place for someone wanting to get into jazz. This is mainly because this set costs too much for that. Also, there's over-whelmingly too much Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Dizzie Gillespie tracks here and little else. You would think that with a 5 disc box set, that Ken Burns could have come up with even little known but great jazz artists to include in this collection aside from adding a few more of the wider known ones as well. I am not a "jazz snob" and I feel it's unfair to some of the newer, more contemporary artists to be ignored as well - the rock equivalent of that would be refusing to acknowledge the talent of Jack White simply because he doesn't play like Clapton or Hendrix.

5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific value
The fact that this box set has so much music for the price makes this collection a must-have for beginners or makes for great driving music to keep in your car. Forget about how you felt about the documentary, just look at this collection of great jazz and ask yourself, "How many better anthologies are out there that aren't twice the price?"

I understand those who feel that there were too many omissions, but face it: jazz has been around for 100 years (or so). Mr. Burns would have required 10 disks, with each disk representing a decade of jazz. Once again, look over the playlist, look at the price, and realize what a value this is.

2-0 out of 5 stars It smells a little funny here
There is a lot of great music/artists here, but a lot of great music is missing and a lot of artists are too heavily favored.
I don't like it when a group of writers try to shape the minds of a unknowing public. I think Kenny should stay away from the ARTS and stick with war and sports. ... Read more

11. Deluxe Edition
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Asin: B00005UF1W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8742
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Koko Taylor's something of a deluxe edition herself. With a Cadillac of a voice that rumbles the earth and rattles the glassware, she reigns as the undisputed empress of the blues. Deluxe Edition, a retrospective of her 15 years with Alligator Records, may not include such classics as "I Got What It Takes" and the Willie Dixon-penned"Twenty-Nine Ways," but it does have "I'm a Woman," Taylor's answer to Muddy Waters, just to kick things off. Other highlights include "Born Under a Bad Sign"--a duet with Buddy Guy, of course. Much of Taylor's work in the 1970s included such duets, and here can also be found Carey Bell (on "Mother Nature"), Pinetop Perkins (on"Hey Bartender"), and B.B. King (on "Blues Hotel"). Everything on Deluxe Edition brims with Taylor's trademark attitude, the sass and toughness for which she's well known. Yet Taylor is capable of astonishing tenderness as well, as is borne out by "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "Time Will Tell." Though this collection boasts only one obligatory previously unreleased track, it's a doozy: "Man Size Job," simply put, kicks ass. Looks like Taylor's reign is in no danger whatsoever.--Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Burnt My Fingers Putting On The Disc
This is one HOT album. There is a lot of stuff on this album, and it is smokin'. She has some guests you may have heard of like Buddy Guy, B. B. King, Carrey Bell, Pinetop Perkins, and Mighty Joe Young. I would recommend this album to anyone that doesn't have her previous albums (she's been with Alligator for over 26 years), or just wants a package with all her best in one healthy portion. For the price I paid, I definately got my money's worth. But with that voice, & those riffs, I'm surprised that Amazon got the package to me without catching fire. This is one HOT album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Cow!!!!!
Koko belts it! That's all there is to say. She is UN-BE-LEEEEE-VABLE. And this disk is no exception. I also have 3 others. If you have not heard Koko Taylor belt blues, and you are (as I am) a lover of blues, this is a must! This is the greatest thing since "canned Peanut butter."
Enough of the flattery. If you like blues, this is an essential CD to add to your collection. Simply, each and every cut on the disk is, in it's own right and in my estimation, a piece of blues history.......... Aquire it and see for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Koko's Best!
The choice of songs in this collection is outstanding, because it superbly showcases Koko's enormous talent at its very best. Backed by some of the best musicians in the business, she belts out her trademark tunes with power, attitude and conviction. This collection is a MUST for the die-hard blues fan, and it's also a great way to introduce new audiences to the "Queen of the Blues" and her music. Keep making the music, Koko . . . your fans love you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice selection of Koko's work
Typcially nice Alliagtor Deluxe Edition that is a retrospective of the artist (sorta of a greatest hits). Few have had a longer tenure with the label that the "Queen" of the Blues Koko Taylor and this nicely samples her various albums. She belts out a number of tunes that are associated with her the most with some special guests on some tracks but the finest moments are Koko herself belting out her songs with so much feeling and authority. Hopefully if you are new to her, this will inspire you to check out more stuff by her ... Read more

12. Lady in Satin
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Asin: B000002AH9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8237
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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A harrowing classic, Billie Holiday's personal favorite among her '50s albums captures the singer 17 months before her death, her once honeyed voice, scarred and weakened from punishing life, its ravages highlighted by the 1958 session's crisp sonics and the contrasting "satin" of Ray Ellis' sleek string arrangements. Yet it is that very contrast that explains the power of these performances: In revisiting its torchy standards, Holiday reduces them to their core of pain and longing, transforming "I'm a Fool to Want You," "You Don't Know What Love Is," and "You've Changed" into naked declarations as mesmerizing and unsettling as a horrific accident.Any postrocker that presumes pop standards and string sections automatically translate to "easy listening" hasn't listened to this. This 1997 version adds unreleased takes and a beautiful 20-bit digital transfer to extract every shivering pang of Holiday's music. --Sam Sutherland ... Read more

Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars The start of a love affair
I admittedly was never particularly drawn to Billie Holiday for various skewered reasons (too legendary, too long ago, too sad). But after seeing her story on an A&E Biography, curiosity got the best of me, especially with respect to Lady In Satin. I remember having run across this album in the stores; it was the only Holiday offering that looked like an actual album, as opposed to the endless profusion of latter-day compilations.

I haven't wanted to listen to anything else since I bought it last week. It's just that good! There's something to be said for an artist's so-called "declining period". Though even for someone like myself who's largely unfamiliar with Lady Day's early work, this album can make for difficult listening. But her worn out, often fractured voice only adds to the material's emotional honesty. Be prepared to have your heart ripped out by "Glad To Be Unhappy"; her voice has a whimsical trace that somehow manages at times to pierce through the sadness.

Placing singers with less-than-perfect voices into lush pop arrangments tends to make for very appealing contradictions.
It's very easy to see why this was Holiday's personal favorite album. The well-documented liner notes only serve to make the album and the Lady all the more compelling. This one will haunt you...and you'll be glad.

5-0 out of 5 stars I finally got it..
Writing an review for Billie Holidays "Lady in Satin"... Not an easy task.. Because you just can't explain this one... I could say that the lyrics are good (wich they are), or that the arrangments by Ray Ellis are beautifull (wich they are)... But it just won't do. This CD is pure magic, I absolutely love it.. To hear Billies voice so scarred, so.. for lack of a better word.. weak, a far cry from the once cornett-like instrument, is in itself a powerfull experience. But the raw emotion, passion, sorrow and heartache that she puts into theese performances.. It just makes you want to cry. Wich is exactly what I do each time I listen to this album. I just can't help it. If you know anything about Billies life, listen to the lyrics.. Lady Day really knows what she is singing about. It is one of those moments in life where life imitates art, or art imitates life, as the case may be. Listen to it.. Really listen, because it is one of the most powerfull albums you will ever hear..

Admittedly, this is not an "easy" album in anyway. Billies shaky voice does not make for easy listening. The first time I heard it, I did not se what all the fuss was about.. But then I tried listening to it again.. and again.. And the third time, I got it. I finally got it..

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Ever.
This is my first review on Amazon. I have never felt the need to do a review on Amazon before. Simply because someone would have always said all that I would have wanted to say.
56 people have reviewed this album before me. Pretty much every good reviewer has said what I am going to say. And yet I feel compelled to review this album. No one, I repeat no artist has ever sung from the depth of his/her heart like Billie Holiday in this album. The music pacifies you, and Lady Day's voice fills you with the deepest sorrow. And yet, in the end you emerge as if transformed by a divine experience.
Now, I will be fair. I had first heard this record 2 months back. And as it turned out, it was the first record of Billie Holliday that I had heard. Naturally, I was surpried, as people who know their stuff regarded her as one of the greats, and this record of her's as the best of all. But I was disappointed.
Eventually, I went back and heard more of her earlier recordings, read about her life, and again came back to this record. And now I truly believe that no artist has ever sung from his/her heart like the way Billie Holiday did in this CD. This album is truly beautiful. And the beauty is hidden underneath a sratchy and haggard voice of a lady tormented by physical and emotional distress.
If you do not know much about Jazz don't buy it.
If you haven't heard Lady Day before, wait till you have heard some of her other stuff.
If you have heard her before and haven't heard this album, then you are missing out on something no words can describe.
And as a tip to those who do not "get" this album. Like Ray Ellis said it, hear it emotionally and not musically.

2-0 out of 5 stars an essential classic ?
Having just read an article entitled the most essential jazz music of the past century I went and purchased ths Lady in Satin. This was an album that was professed to be one of the great ones. Powerfull and essential in Holiday's catalogue.
I placed it into the CD palyer with great anticipation, first was the orchestration, big full and accurate. Then the horrific, screatching, off key shaky voice of the singer.
I went onto the next track and more of the same. Fantastic big band orchestrations marred by this scared vioce. One track is an outtake and she speaks as if she was drunk ! I understand she had her hard times but at least the recording engineers could have taken the bottle out of her hands.
This was a horrible let down.

5-0 out of 5 stars Altisimo nivel emocional
Es curioso la controversia que este disco despierta. Razonable porque la voz de Billie Holliday está ya muy deteriorada, como si tuviera 80 años. Pero para mi su interpretación es mejor que nunca, trasciende sus propias posibilidades vocales y la emoción desborda, el dolor empapa los deliciosos arreglos de Ray Ellis y los sentimientos se apoderan de un disco impagable e irrepetible.
Este disco aparece aproximadamente 1 año y medio antes de su muerte, y es su mejor legado, una colección de hermosas viñetas de amor y desamor, desgarrado pero no exento de un pequeño rayo de esperanza a veces (for heaven's sake).
Entre las canciones del disco, mis preferidas son I'm a Fool To Want You (entre las mejores de su repertorio), For Heaven's Sake, You Don't Know What Love Is, You've Changed o The End Of A Love Affair.
Disco especial e irrepetible, joya atemporal, testamento de una de las mejores y expresivas voces del universo jazz, pop. Este disco no merece menos de un 10. ... Read more

13. Lady in Autumn: The Best of the Verve Years
list price: $22.98
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Asin: B0000047CO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 29299
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars We need a remastered version Verve
This is more than a decade old, and I dont like the sound very much. Verve should really release these tracks in a new compilation with better sound. I prefer the early Billie Holiday, and to me she reached her peak at her last sessions for Columbia. I'd strongly recommend to anyone just getting into Bilie to check the Columbia/Legacy stuff first. This is more difficult to appreciate, but stil is great music. Billie is the best jazz singer that ever lived, period.

5-0 out of 5 stars GOD BLESS HER SOUL !!!
For many years now, there's been going on a "strange" comparison between Billie's two periods : before and after her time in prison.... The explanation is very simple. You don't buy Billie's records in order to HEAR them, but to FEEL them !!!! It wasn't her technical capabilities in singing that made the Lady famous. It was her emotions, her strength at heart, her willingness to overcome all the problems she had with her private life. That's what you get if you purchase the "Lady in Autumn" CD. You get a Great Lady that stands up with pride, and still manages to keep a high level of quality at her work. It's harder to remain at the top, than getting there at the first place. And Billie stood at the top for a very long time !!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars And Still Her Heart Has Wings
This is the best ballad collection of Billie Holiday to date. You hear someone who has experienced life, in every nuance of her voice. 'These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You' is the most heartbreakingly perfect ballad ever recorded, with a subtly touching piano accompaniment by Oscar Peterson. This track is for those who have loved and lost. 'Don't Worry 'Bout Me' has an ironic sadness when viewed from here and it is appropriately placed as the last song in the set. It will make you cry.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Revelation
There is an on-going dispute between Holiday fans: is Billie Holiday more interesting at the beginning of her career, when her voice was at its best, or at the end of her career, when her interpretive skills were at their finest? My preference is for the latter, and LADY IN AUTUMN offers a truly fine sampling of later Billie Holiday recordings.

Even at its youthful best, Billie Holiday's distinctive, very quirky voice was never noted for any of the qualities we usually applaud in great singers: Holiday's range, power, and breath support were always more than a little ify. But Holiday showed a remarkable facility for shaping her voice much as sculptor might, and she transformed her vocal defects into an astonishing personal idiom that has never failed to mix musical delight with raw emotional power. And this ability was at its height toward the end of her career.

It is true, however, that Holiday's later recordings are an acquired taste, and listeners who are new to her unique stylings may be put off by the vocal roughness of her later work. But for those who have already listened to an enjoyed her earlier work, Billie Holiday's LADY IN AUTUMN will be a revelation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely lonesome and blue
A voice so jarring it can crackle the sun and mirror the moon.I never heard none sweeter than Billie Holiday.This collection shows the despair that ravaged her later years but kept her believing in music.Her children were her songs and she gave them all the love she had. ... Read more

14. The Essential Etta James
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Sales Rank: 8325
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Etta James is the dues-paying blues mama. Throughout her tragic and storied career, Miss Peaches has successfully delivered her growling soul and soaring vocals to everything from Chicago blues to pop. Her voice is one of the most distinctive in the entire blues canon and The Essential Etta James captures it in its prime; 44 tracks cover her best Chess Records work from 1960 to the early '70s. And though her early R&B hits for Modern like "Roll with Me Henry" are not here, just about everything else is: the supreme balladry of "All I Could Do Was Cry" and "At Last," the sassy bump of "Seven-Day Fool" and "Pushover," the raucous soul of "In the Basement," and even bell-bottomed funk of "All the Way Down." But the finest evidence of James's versatility can be heard in her outstanding Memphis soul covers of "Tell Mama" and "Security." There's a lot of Etta James out there, but this is likely the best compilation of her work you're going to find. --Ken Hohman ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars the best etta, and etta is the best.
I agree with a previous reviewer in saying that this is the best collection of Etta James songs ever. I can't say I have all her records, but I have a lot of them. If I could come back in the next life as a singer...I would want to have Etta's voice. Her way of expressing things. Her raunch, and her ability to make me cry with feeling. This woman can get into the heart of a song like no one else. And having seen her twice in concert I can say it is a show not to be missed. She is the soul of soul.

In the early 60's Etta James was to R&B what Patsy Cline was to country. She could cross over and yet remain true to her roots, and that's only one part of a nearly 50 year career! From the velvety cross over soul of "At Last" to the hard driving Memphis soul of "Tell Mama", this is one legend who certainly deserves a wider audience than she has today. She ranks right up with Aretha Franklin as an influential vocalist. I took far too many years to discover her power. If you haven't given her a serious look yet, stop wasting time and begin here!

5-0 out of 5 stars Ken Holman needs to know his stuff before writing a review
Ken while I agree with almost everything you say, I have to inform you of an error. The outstanding soul tune "Tell Mama" IS NOT the "Memphis Sound." It is in fact part of the immortal legacy of Rick Hall's FAME Studios in the Southern Soul Mecca of MUSCLE SHOALS, ALABAMA. Trust me check out the orginal liner notes. Or just check out the FAME Studios Website.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh, my, Miss Peaches...
This is an excellent cross-section of Miss James' vocal ability. It's all here - smoke-filled standards, rockin' R&B, scorching soul, and yes indeed, torch songs to put modern "divas" to shame. Though Etta's voice has spectacular range and emotional drive, these recordings do not contain the shrill vocal calesthenics forced on us by the 90's pop divas. The result was this ultra-quality collection, which I guarantee you will never loan out, even to your best friend.

5-0 out of 5 stars MAXIMUM ETTA; You Keep "Telling Me, Mama!!"!
"Etta" Wails, "I'd Rather Go Blind", and ALL I can say is; "Yeah, me too, mama, PLEASE, just don't EVER render me "deaf"!! This "W.O.M.A.N."; can and DOES, "render me awestruck, not to mention, dumbstruck with her sheer "gutesy, simmering, beltin', sheer vocal force/power, and then DOES IT AGAIN, when she "ratches-down" that INCREDIBLE RANGE of her's (doesn't get any better than THIS, folks) and into her OWN "stylistic-trademark "cruise-control", to give us the treat of her "smooth, sly, earthy delivery of her "gentler?-side"; joking here, of course she does have it, and displays it, in all her multifaceted hues, and glory; her instintual brilliance of interpretation is unequaled, and unrivaled. THE MUSIC HEREIN. Well, the "raw jewels" at her absolute "zenith" are pretty much all here. Then they jusy casually drop in previous unreleased "gems", such as "I Never Meant To Love Him", now a personal fave of mine, and her OWN rendition of Aretha"s "Do Right Womam, Do Right Man"; and I'm certainly hard-pressed to say who's version is better. Different, not better. Two cds "chock-full", each containing 22 "cuts' and ALL "prime-Etta", in any style, or aproachto this staggering array of material. I take issue with "other prior posters" who said they weren't ALL "keepers", you can "Lose and Weep" all you want to. I can't find one "sub-standard" cut anywhere here. None. Personal fave "standouts": "Almost Persuaded", a blistering, searing "God"s Song" (That's Why I Love Mankind); and a true "barnburner" by anyone's standards, the aptly titled "Let's Burn Down The Cornfield"; and man, oh, man-does she EVER!! I certainly felt raw, and than "crispy" by the end of cd No. 2. (Appropriately, the "closer". Randy Newman has GOT to be "one proud papa" with these to two seminal/stellar "inteprets". Of course, by the end of this "rollercoaster-ride", over the course of these entire cds "contents", I was "slack-jawed"; and that's putting it lightly. Other noteables: "Waiting For Charlie (To Come Home)"; "Would It Make Any Difference To You", "Pushover""Payback", a bone-chilling rendition of "All The Way Down"; and "closer" on cd No.1, "Baby What You Want Me To Do"-LIVE! YEOWWW! This "comp." is a Very thrifty bargain at any price. Need I say it again? GET THIS "SET"!! You can't POSSIBLY lose. Promise!Lynn Luv, or; Nancy N. ... Read more

15. 20th Century Masters: The Best Of Etta James (Millennium Collection)
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Asin: B00000I9CK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6533
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Few vocalists can muster the power and sass of Etta James when she's rocking the mike on classic R&B tunes like "Tell Mama" or "Something's Got a Hold on Me." But James also had a way with a ballad, and her sensitive readings of songs such as "At Last" and "All I Could Do Was Cry" made her a fan favorite in the early '60s. Had she not been sidelined for a while by an addiction to heroin, today we might think of James, not Aretha, as the Queen of Soul. Because this set offers only 11 cuts, it's generally inferior to Her Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection, which boasts 20 tunes. Still, it's a satisfying intro to the delightful "Miss Peaches" nonetheless.--Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Queen of Soul that even outdoes Aretha Franklin
Personally, I love Aretha, but Etta did it all first and most of the time better! The first song I heard was "Trust In Me" and I loved it. "At Last" was next and I loved it better! I didn't want to jump right into the 2-CD anthology, so decided to buy this as a sampler. It compiles some of her best material and takes glances at every little piece of her soul. If you want a sample of Etta just to see if you like her, this CD will make you come crawling back for more! Every song on here is classic, but my personal faves are "At Last", "Pushover", "Don't Cry Baby", "Trust In Me", "Tell Mama"...oh, I give in! They're all my personal favorites!!!!! A must-have!

I first bought this album at the record store and due to unmitigating circumstances, it slipped away from me. I am all of thirty years old but I know Etta's music. She had an edginess to her delivery that no one in her circle really had yet she could deliver a smoothed out ballad also. My favorite song is "Trust In Me". I love this particular song because of its simplicity in structure and also in lyric. What shines on this is Ms. James emotive voice which is lush and spare all at the same time. Thanks again for coming through Anmazon!

5-0 out of 5 stars Love it! Love It! Love It!
Etta is my favorite Lady Of Blues by far. I bought this cd for the song,"At Last," but my favorite is, "Trust In Me." It WILL be played at my wedding.

She is amazing. Order this cd now!

5-0 out of 5 stars WAIT! WAIT! STOP THE WEDDING!
After hating Etta's "Seven Year Itch," album, a friend gave me a copy of this CD for my birthday. I listened to it several times all the way through and was won over. I listen to it all the time now. "At Last," appears in several different movies including Father of the Bride 2. But I'd have to say that my favorite song on the entire album is "Stop the Wedding."

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Etta James Collection!
Although brief,this is a very good disc,it contains all great songs.I highly recommend it. ... Read more

16. Amtrak Blues
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Asin: B0000025IC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14190
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing, Inspirational Recording.
I had never heard of Alberta Hunter until a good friend introduced her to me via the original vinyl recording of "Amtrack Blues". Made when she was 83 years young, the recording is absolutely fantastic. Her backup musicians are incredible, the sound quality is excellent, and Alberta is an absolute hoot! Alberta's vocal quality on this record is much more interesting than her earlier, younger period. Her age and wisdom are evident, and this only makes her more appealing. "Handyman" is positively hilarious. No one's ever recorded this song with such incredible wit and naughtiness - at 83 no less! If you like the blues - this deserves a place in your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely incredible
I'm absolutely blown away by this recording. Alberta Hunter may have been a blues singer but her phrasing and breath control (at 83!) are fantastic. Quite a few jazz singers could learn a thing or two from listening to her.

5-0 out of 5 stars Her Voice and Her Rhythm are Complex and Unbeatable
These 'standards' are anything but; Alberta Hunter's versions are unbeatable. She has that kind of voice and rhythm that seem so natural and yet, like Billie Holiday, defy the human range thus placing her in the pantheon of jazz greats. She is earthy yet refined and completely in touch with the band, she moans and cries at places that you'll find yourself wondering how she got there. "Darktown Strutters Ball", "Georgia Brown" and the intensely down and dirty "My Handyman" are sensual, comic and dramatically original-your body will react- guaranteed. Unpredictably fresh, this late great senior citizen packs all she's got and all we need, right in to each piece. I have given this CD as a gift to many people and they have all been smitten and grateful. Decidedly worthwhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Produced by John Hammond, this is a simple, sweet, swinging collection that showcases the incredible talent of 83 year old Alberta Hunter. It has the feel of a live recording; the supporting musicians and Miss Hunter are obviously having a grand old time. In a world where every singer thinks he or she is an artist, Alberta Hunter provides an object lesson in real artistry.

5-0 out of 5 stars A (very) late bloomer?
Amazing woman,Alberta Hunter recorded this wonderful album at the age of 83 - great survivor of the original blues craze of 1920's,she was a contemporary of Bessie Smith ( Bessie's very first hit "Downhearted blues" was actually written by Alberta Hunter!) and all the other blues greats,and somehow she endured all the way up to 1978. when she recorded "Amtrak Blues".Yes,you can tell its an old voice,but she had such a character that made listen pure fun - her version of this old standards are simply undescribable,she sounds like great old lady,sometimes even dirty (You never heard "My Handy Man" if you didnt hear this one - in comparison,Ethel Waters version from 1920's is simply nice little song,Alberta makes a listener blush).Interesting,I found this late Alberta Hunter period much interesting then her younger phase.In the 1920's and 1930's she was never such a character as here - just as late albums by Ida Cox,Sippie Wallace or Victora Spivey shows,these women actually got better with age.This album is really heart-warming,showes that character never dies,age doesnt mean anything and one is young as he feels. ... Read more

17. The Essential Dinah Washington: The Great Songs
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Asin: B000001DWK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13125
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Somebody Do A Movie On This Woman...
...maybe it will wake my generation up to respect this woman. Her music and life is truly a discovery of wonder, love, comedy, and heartaches. If you thought Whitney's life is a mess, you need to research Dinah's. At least Dinah had fun, right? The one thing I can say about Dinah is that all her trials, happiness and misfortunate she always put them into her songs. This woman was not shy about being real when it came to her music and it didn't matter whether it was pop, jazz, blues or r&b. And unlike Whitney and today's singers, she was a TRUE professional singer. She never allowed her personal problems to affect her music. I wish somebody will do a movie about her life and get Jill Scott to play her. Until then, I will continue to listen to this woman's amazing music and dreaming of the day that she gets some respect. If you are new to Dinah, this is the collection you need to start with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classy
Dinah Washington is truly a Singer's Singer.She understood the power of Lyrics&the Importance of allowing the feeling&emotions come through.She is a Great Stylish Artist who had no limits.Her take on "I've got you under my skin" alone is worth the full Price to Me overall.She knew how to Swing&Connect with Her Music.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Title Is Accurate: This Really Is An Essential!
Reknowned for a straight-forward, powerhouse voice and a knock-out stage presence, Dinah Washington is one of the great vocalists of the 20th Century--but is today little known outside the circle of serious jazz fans. This is a great pity, for the lady was a remarkable talent, as this Verve release makes abundantly clear.

Washington had a rather limited range, but like Billie Holiday she carefully sculpted her voice to maximum effect--and her instrument is a knock-you-flat one, with many of her vocals relying on her ability to strike and hold a high, intensely voiced tone. But if Washington's vocal range was limited, her material was not: she is as at home with hard jazz and blues as she is with sleek orchestral arrangements and throw-away numbers, and this collection presents examples of it all: from the funky jazz of "I've Got You Under My Skin," in which she offers a completely unexpected interpretation of the Cole Porter classic, to the more orchestrial scored "Blue Gardenia," a personal favorite, these cuts are winners all the way.

If you've heard about Dinah Washington but never actually encountered her music, this compilation is a perfect place to start. But be forewarned: the lady's music is addictive, and once you begin to explore it you're likely to leap feet first into every available recording. For once, the title THE ESSENTIALS is dead-on accurate; strongly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dinah Does It All
After listening to this CD and reading about Dinah Washington's infamous big ego, I think to myself if that woman was conceited, then so what? That's a small price to pay for such a big talent. This CD collection is FABULOUS! I'm continuously boggled by what a versatile artist she was and this CD is a stunner! It shows off every facet of Dinah talent---big bands, orchestras, string ensembles, jazz trios, studio cuts and live concerts---Dinah does it all. All her big jazz and pop dates are captured here with her equally talented sidemen. Verve did a great job picking out the spectacular sides from her vast catalog (there's no way ONE CD can do Dinah justice). Contrary to what some listeners said, I think the recordings are remastered clearly, there's no evidence of hisses here. And Dinah is not a forgotten woman. Her many fans still hold her dearly in their hearts and cherish her recordings. No wonder Broadway did a show based on her life!

4-0 out of 5 stars grade A music, grade B recording
There are some great, classic songs on this CD but after a few times through, I was disappointed with the sound. It is nothing you would notice during a crowded party, but something you would pick up on while listening through headphones at work or other quiet environment. Still, if you're in need of background mood music, this is a great CD. ... Read more

18. Irving Berlin: A Hundred Years
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Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just As I Remembered It -- But Better!
Well, it's just as I remembered it from my old cassette version, but now I don't need to wind the tape or flip it over! Otherwise, it's the same as the tape: great Berlin songs, brought to life by some of the most famous voices...Fred Astaire does his best version of "Cheek to Cheek", Dinah Shore for me *defines* the number "Doin' What Comes Naturally", and I much prefer Barbara Streisand's rendition of "What'll I Do"...this isn't some definitive collection, but it's a rock-solid introduction to one of America's most beloved classic composers! ... Read more

19. Time After Time
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Sales Rank: 14201
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love It, I Love It, I Love It!
I play this cd so much in the car, my daughter knows ALL the words to most of the songs and she's only five years old. Etta's rendition of "Willow Weep For Me" is "The Bomb"! I love it when she adds what I call, her little "personal punctuations" of "Yeah!", "uh-uh", or "that's right" as her band plays. Her style is earthy, soulful and unique.

I purchased "Mystery Lady" not long ago and it's getting equal play time with this cd. (Did I mention that I love it?) Etta is something special!

5-0 out of 5 stars UNTOUCHABLE!
This is my favorite album by Etta James. There are not many cd's that you can buy in which every track is great, but on this cd every track is incredible. Etta James has a very unique voice that captures you. Even my 15 year old niece likes this cd. If that's not proof enough, than I don't know what is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sensational!
Etta James makes me proud to be a jazz fan! Her voice is incredible and this CD is so very, very amazing! I listen to at work and especially when I am at home on a Saturday evening thinking about my sweetie!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cannot get enough of Etta!
The darkest, sweetest chocolate, a night in your lover's arms, skinny dipping at midnight, strolling arm in arm through a French village as the cafe lights begin to come on, awakening in your lover's arms. Images like these will come to mind as you listen to Etta do her magic. I simply cannot get enough of this CD. Now I'm shopping for more more more!

5-0 out of 5 stars In a word, this CD is Fabulous
"Time after Time I tell myself that I'm so lucky" to be wittness to the best rendition of these classics. ... Read more

20. Glamoured
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Sales Rank: 7629
Average Customer Review: 3.87 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars Review of "Glamoured"
First I must write that this isn't my favorite Cassandra Wilson album. "Glamoured" is a fairly typical work for Ms. Wilson. Initially she was a breath of fresh air with her modern renditions on "New Moon Daughter", her deep melancholy on "Blue Light Til Dawn" (both stunningly good albums) and some of her unique work on Wynton Marsalis' "Blood on the Fields." But lately her albums have been sort of ho-hum. The kind where you listen to it and it sounds decent ... but you've heard Ms. Wilson before and it feels like more of the same. NOW DON'T GET ME WRONG. She is a wonderful singer, but very limited in vocal range. Her voice is musky, brooding, deep and soulful ... but she's no Sarah Vaughn. I love Ms. Wilson's voice and this album is good if you are a diehard fan OR a first time listener. BUT -- it is not all that different from other albums. Now -- she does sing a recently released song called "Vietnam Blues" by former blues/rock guitar great L.B. Lenoir and does a beautiful job. I could hear the bombs falling as Ms. Wilson sang her clearly soft and understated version of the song. She does the song immense justice. One can feel the sad juxtapostion between the words of pleading, agony and the delicacy in which she sings the tune. Well done. I think this version alone is worth the entirety of THIS album. If you want the song "Vietnam Blues" you must purchase it on the Scorsese blues CD series -- the disc is "Soul Of Man" -- which contains other gems as well. If a five-star rating is for a fantastic, must-have- album, you know ... The Beatles "White Album" ... then Cassandra's work gets 3 stars. A good, but not great album.

4-0 out of 5 stars Miss Wilson and her players
Cassandra Wilson's new album is a bit of a mixed bag. Producer Fabrizio Sotti has ensured a much better mix than the self-produced "Belly of the Sun", on which the bass seemed stuck in the Mississippi mud. The closer of this album, "Throw It Away" by Abbey Lincoln, is a duet for voice and double bass in full splendour. The use of two basses on Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" also is a special delight. Miss Wilson is offering six new songs, some of them co-authored by producer/guitar player Sotti. "I Want More", apparently improvised more or less on the spot, is an energetic groove.
On most other songs tastefully picked guitar and discreet percussion provide an effective musical setting of the kind that Wilson fans will be familiar with (no trupets or cornets, though). Sotti mostly is a capable accompanist on the guitar. Sadly, on "What Is It?", an acid-jazzy tune that he co-authored, his Gibson guitar sound doesn't fit into the mix at all and his solo is utterly bland. Yuk! Are they going to use this song to get more airplay? I hope not.
The tracks that really take off are those featuring stalwart Brandon Ross, previously a major contributor to "Blue Light 'Till Dawn" and "New Moon Daughter" and Henry Threadgill's band Very Very Circus. He provides an accompaniment that is much more interesting, bluesy and atmospheric. The menacing mood that he creates on Muddy Waters' "Honey Bee" seems to inspire percussionist Jeffrey Haynes to greater heights, too. (During the 2003 North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Cassandra introduced Ross as her musical director, so perhaps we have more to look forward to.)
In all songs Cassandra Wilson's unique low alto is deployed with the familiar devastating effect. In that respect the album does certainly not disappoint.
A final note: due to the Copy Controlled format of this disc, I experienced playback (and other) problems on my G3 iMac. Not enough memory, I suppose. Can't say I wasn't warned, but still...

4-0 out of 5 stars Cassandra I Finally Got It
Cassandra Wilson is one of those artists whose style is understated almost to the point of laziness. It takes more than one listen to appreciate the vocal nunances that make her great but, I now dig what she's doing. I absolutely enjoyed Glamoured for the sheer vocal magic of Wilson's smokey vocals. She particularly shines on I Want More, Lay Lady Lay, If Loving You Is Wrong, Crazy, and Honey Bee. Cassandra has been doing her thing for some time ....I'm happy I finally caught up.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm glamoured!
What a stunningly beautiful album. Cassandra just keeps getting better and better, I think this her best album yet. The opening cover of "Fragile" is surprising and lovely, her vocals embrace the haunting track perfectly. "Lay Lady Lay" is a captivating as is the rest of the album. The last album I was this excited about was Rhian Benson's "Gold Coast" and now I see her as a young Cassandra. Cassandra's mastery of jazz inflection is mesmerizing. Yes, I love it, love it, love it!

1-0 out of 5 stars No opinion
I have not listened to this album but I have a stack of her previous offering for anyone who wants them. Since "Blue Skies", she has been making recordings that always seem to appeal to people who only listen to the music once and think, "This must be a great artistic effort because it is so unlistenable." I've bought several of those CD's and have finally decided there's no future in buying any more Cassandra Wilson albums. Her breathless, whiskey-tinged voice is attractive and seductive, I'll admit. Her photos make her look like a Victoria's Secret model. Her spell on the critics is interesting. But her recordings (since "Blue Skies") are not enjoyable experiences. But she has found her niche and we can look forward to more of this type of output in the future. As for me, I give up. No more. ... Read more

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