Vinyl Vaults Proudly Presents Billie Holiday

Posted by Billyjam, June 18, 2013 11:35am | Post a Comment

We have added Billie Holiday to Amoeba Music's ever expanding, much-lauded Vinyl Vaults. This Amoeba-exclusive, historic vault of American music icons, which specializes in preserving valued vinyl releases by carefully transferring them to digital files, already includes such icons as Louis Armstrong.

Our curated collection of digitized vinyl and 78s will also unveil Kenny Rogers this month, but more on his inclusion into the Vinyl Vaults in a later Amoeblog.

For now let's take a look at the jazz/blues legend that was Billie Holiday and whose Vinyl Vaults additions will include approximately 30 different tracks (most emastered and now available from Amoeba) "Lady Day's" short 44 years on this earth (1915 - 1959) was filled with the blues and her musical legacy is a part of American music history. Amoeba deserves major props for helping preserve. One of the folks responsible for the tedious task of digital transformation of Amoeba's Vinyl Vaults is Gregory Griffith. I talked with him over the past couple of days to find out more about these Billie Holiday additions to the Vinyl Vaults that are now available in three digital files: mp3, M4A (lossless), or WAV.

Gregory Griffith informed me that the new Vinyl Vaults tracks span recordings from the mid-1940's into the 1950's, right up to the artist's final year, and include such recordings as an October 5th, 1958 live rendition of "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" culled from the very first Monterey Jazz Festival featuring Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax and Mal Waldron on piano. Griffith noted that this was "on the same bill with Dave Brubeck Quartet, Jimmy Giuffre Three, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and others." Griffin also says the audio on this track is "especially good." Bear in mind that audio quality can vary on these Vinyl Vaults finds since they are restricted to the original available master copies which can sometimes be well worn 78s. Another especially good Vinyl Vaults addition is Holiday's rendition of "I Only Have Eyes For You" from the 1957's Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Ontario, Canada, featuring Mal Waldron on piano. There are also several radio and television recordings of Holiday that include a June 1949 rare recording of her singing "Good Morning, Heartache" on the Just Jazz radio broadcast series from a Los Angeles studio and a television studio recording from that same period of Holiday singing "I Cover the Waterfront" on Art Ford's show.

Billie Holiday and jazz fans in general will enjoy digging into the many new Vinyl Vaults additions to uncover such tracks as the live 1955 recording of "Stormy Weather" from Carnegie Hall, NYC that featured Lester Young (tenor sax), Count Basie  (organ), and Buddy Rich (drums). Also the 1952 recording of "Tenderly" with Buster Harding and His Orchestra, or the 1951 Stan Getz (tenor sax) featured version of "You're Driving Me Crazy" from Boston's Storyville Club.

Then there's "I'll Get By" from the January 18th, 1944 Esquire First Annual Jazz Concert at the Metropolitan Opera House with the All-Star Jam Band that included Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), Jack Teagarden (trombone), and Art Tatum (piano). For more on the other two and half dozen really cool newly uncovered Billie Holiday tracks - mostly live recordings - check out the Amoeba Vinyl Vaults section of this website.

Check back here next week for background on the new Kenny Rogers additions to the vaults!

Billie Holiday - You Ain't Gonna Bother Me No More ( Vinyl Vaults Sample)
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Billie Holiday (18), Vinyl Vaults (8)