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A Billie Holiday Songbook / Lara Downes

Lara Downes Release Date: 03/10/2015
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30026
Composer:  Jerome Kern ,  Billie Holiday ,  Richard Rodgers ,  Ann Ronell  ...  Performer:  Lara Downes Number of Discs: 1
Recorded in: Stereo Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins.

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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