Dee Dee Bridgewater - Eleanora Fagan(1915-1959)Billie with Lov (CD)

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    1. Performer
    2. Pop Vocal
    Number of Items
    Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee
    Country of Origin
    Emarcy (USA)
    Mono / Stereo

    Down Beat (p.51) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Her dazzling scat pickup from James Carter's soprano solo sounds spontaneously bold, and tells us at the outset that Bridgewater has no intent of doing an imitation of Holiday's vocal methods."
    JazzTimes (p.74) - "[I]n 'Strange Fruit,' the aching desperation that electrified Holiday's reading remains fully evident in Bridgewater's..."
    Billboard (p.33) - "'Lover Man' shines with a sexy, sassy sheen; and 'Miss Brown to You' gets a feisty makeover....Pulling it all together are Bridgewater's expressive, unrestricted vocals..."

    1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Lady Sings The Blues
    2. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] God Bless The Child
    3. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] A Foggy Day
    4. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] Strange Fruit
    5. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] All Of Me
    6. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Good Morning Heartache
    7. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Lover Man
    8. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] You've Changed
    9. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Miss Brown To You
    10. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Don't Explain
    11. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Fine And Mellow
    12. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Mother's Son-In-Law
    South Africa
    Release Date
    22 February 2010
    Songs / Tracks
    1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Lady Sings the Blues
    2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] All of Me
    3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Good Morning Heartache
    4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Lover Man
    5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] You've Changed
    6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Miss Brown To You
    7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Don't Explain
    8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Fine and Mellow
    9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Mother's Son-In-Law
    10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] God Bless the Child
    11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] A Foggy Day
    12. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] Strange Fruit

    Personnel: Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals); Edsel Gomez (piano); Lewis Nash (drums).
    Liner Note Author: Dan Ouellette.
    Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (06/05/2009-06/07/2009); Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA (06/05/2009-06/07/2009); Avatar Studios, New York, NY (07/25/2009-07/28/2009); Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA (07/25/2009-07/28/2009).
    Photographer: Mark Higashino.
    Arranger: Edsel Gomez.
    It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Dee Dee Bridgewater chose to record a tribute album to Billie Holiday. In quick succession beginning in the mid-'90s Bridgewater cut tribute albums to Ella Fitzgerald, Horace Silver, and Kurt Weill, and prior to that, in the late '80s, she was nominated for an award for her one-woman star turn in a European theater production of Lady Day, the Holiday story. That Bridgewater would eventually turn to Holiday (whose given name of Eleanora Fagan explains the title) for an album-length exploration was almost a given -- it was just a question of when. It's one of her grandest efforts, too. With arrangements by Edsel Gomez (who also provides piano) and a stellar cast of participants including bassist Christian McBride, saxophonist/flutist/bass clarinetist James Carter, and drummer Lewis Nash, Bridgewater doesn't attempt to mimic Holiday's mannerisms or inflections but, as one would expect of such a gifted artist, to absorb and reframe Holiday -- this is pure Bridgewater, not another performance of Lady Day. Gomez, for his part, quite often pulls the arrangements squarely away from Holiday territory to reinvent these classic songs for a modern audience. The opening "Lady Sings the Blues" is both instantly recognizable yet freshly reconceived as something of an uptempo blues packed with polyrhythmic punch. "All of Me," which follows, is taken at near-breakneck speed, Bridgewater jumping ahead of the beat, following Carter's thrilling soprano sax solo with a raging scat that's more Ella than Billie. Not everything is meant to redefine, though: "God Bless the Child" is mostly true to the original, though Carter's soprano solo again brings the tune into the new century, and "Lover Man," though livelier than Holiday's take, is offered in a somewhat timeless and straightforward manner. As one might expect, there's no way a singer with Bridgewater's commitment to jazz history could release a Holiday tribute without tackling "Strange Fruit," the controversial anti-lynching landmark that remains Holiday's most daring moment, and it's saved for last here. It's an eerie, ominous interpretation, Bridgewater's raw vocal up front and fraught with emotion. Carter's brooding bass clarinet and McBride's bass lend a foreboding quality to the take, Nash relies heavily on his cymbals to dramatic effect, and Gomez's piano is subtle, allowing the nakedness of Bridgewater's voice -- at times unaccompanied -- to retell this story that can never be told enough. It's a stunning finale to one of the finest Billie Holiday homages ever recorded. ~ Jeff Tamarkin

    51m 47s
    Dee Dee Bridgewater
    Dee Dee Bridgewater
    1. Bridgewater, Dee Dee
    Al Schmitt
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