Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Billie Holiday - "The Life And Artistry Of Lady Day" DVD

The inimitable 'Lady Day', as she was called, was unquestionably the first lady of jazz and blues in her time. Her tremendously troubled (and brief) life was rife with horror and tragedy, but Holiday channeled this into her music, which stands today as an inspiration and influence on even today's singers. This UK-produced documentary does an admirable job summing up her life and art. It's highlighted by several complete performances, including a breathtakingly solemn and intense 'Strange Fruit'. The limited outsider viewpoints, and the reliance on stock footage of Holiday makes for a wonderful primer, and there's a few minor bonuses (discography, some short performances from film, etc.) to beef it all up. A nice deal, and well-suited to Lady Day novices like myself. (Idem Home Video via MVD Visual)


Marc said...

Couldn't get the link to the video to work but was interested in the post. I am also a big fan of Billie Holiday and recently read a bio of Sinatra where it was stated that he was the "king wop's" only influence. Now when I listen to Sinatra I realize how much he stole from her.

Goatsden said...

i did not know that (re:sinatra). many thanx for the comment! the video works fine from my end...perhaps it was undergoing some downtime from youtube?