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A Billie Holiday Songbook / Lara Downes

Lara Downes
Release Date: 03/10/2015 
Label:  Steinway & Sons   Catalog #: 30026  
Composer:  Jerome KernBillie HolidayRichard RodgersAnn Ronell,   ... 
Performer:  Lara Downes
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Steinway & Sons celebrates the centenary of iconic jazz singer Billie Holiday with an album of songs she made famous, arranged for solo piano by New York-based composer and pianist Jed Distler and performed by Steinway artist Lara Downes. The result is a musical portrait of the singer’s life.

"Possibly the most intriguing Holiday tribute may be this one by pianist Lara Downes. The adroit pianist goes solo in interpreting songs associated with the vocalist. At times she gives rococo hints of Art Tatum, other times a classica straightforwardness comes in. The tunes such as “Yesterdays” “Blue Moon” and “What A Little Moonlight Can Do” come and go before you know what happened, clocking in between 1-2 ½ minutes.
Read more Most of the tunes are concise like this, but “Strange Fruit” and “I Cover The Waterfront” are patiently drawn out, with space making wonderful sounds. A focus on the lyrical side of the Holiday Songbook that works well." -- George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

“Downes possesses shimmering tone, expansive lyricism, attentiveness to tonal color and mood dynamics, and nimble articulation. Her interpretation is meditative, poetic, almost dreamy at times, as she appears to merge the voice of her instrument with the voice of the singer heard through the filter of Downes’ own imagination. ” — Fanfare Magazine

“Ms. Downes plays each piece lovingly, caressingly, soulfully... you have to concede that no one could do them any better. We practically hear Holiday behind the piano.” — John Puccio: Classical Candor

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Works on This Recording

1.
Roberta: Yesterdays by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
2.
God bless the child by Billie Holiday
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia  
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
3.
Manhattan Melodrama: Blue Moon by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/6/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 1 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Teddy Wilson 
4.
Willow Weep for Me by Ann Ronell
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Date of Recording: 6/6/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Marian McPartland 
5.
Don't Explain by Billie Holiday
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
6.
Body and Soul by Johnny Green
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/6/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
7.
I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You by Victor Young
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
8.
I Wished On The Moon by Ralph Rainger
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
9.
Them There Eyes by Maceo Pinkard
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
10.
Billie's Blues by Billie Holiday
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
11.
Good Morning Heartache by Irene Higginbotham
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
12.
The End of a Love Affair by Edward C. Redding
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
13.
What a Little Moonlight Can Do by Harry M. Woods
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
14.
Ain't Nobody's Business by Porter Grainger
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
15.
Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; United States 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
16.
I'll Be Seeing You by Sammy Fain
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
17.
Lover Man by Jimmie Davis
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
18.
I'm a Fool to Want You by Frank Sinatra
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
19.
I'll Be Around by Alec Wilder
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
20.
I Cover the Waterfront by Johnny Green
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Venue:  Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
21.
Solitude by Edward "Duke" Ellington
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 6/4/2014 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 
22.
But Beautiful by James Van Heusen
Performer:  Lara Downes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 6/5/2014 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jed Distler 

Featured Sound Samples

God Bless the Child
Don't Explain
Them There Eyes

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 A lovely recording May 5, 2015 By Catherine T. See All My Reviews "Beautiful treatments of favorite songs, exquisite piano playing with an interesting mix of classical and jazz elements. Very enjoyable." Report Abuse
 not a gret album April 23, 2015 By k michael b. (east stroudsburg, PA) See All My Reviews "the music is not really about Billie Holiday rather the great American song book the performer cannot improvise and the arrangements is some case are poor buy a solo piano jazz CD If this pianist is classical she should stick to it" Report Abuse
 easy listening April 7, 2015 By D. Stephens (Stillwater, OK) See All My Reviews "This has been such a comfort during drive time about town and coming and going to work. Lara Downes really makes this a worthwhile investment if you are a fan of Billie Holiday which I am. Just love this. Buy it, you'll be glad you did!" Report Abuse
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