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Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra - Body And Soul (Verve Records 1957)

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Uploaded on Jul 27, 2011

"Body and Soul" is a popular jazz song featured on Billie Holidays album with the same title. "Body and Soul" was written in New York City for the British actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence. It was first performed in London by her. It was first published in England. Libby Holman introduced it in the U.S. in the 1930 Broadway revue Three's a Crowd. Louis Armstrong was the first jazz musician to record "Body and Soul". The tune grew quickly in popularity, and by the end of 1930 at least eleven groups had recorded it. "Body and Soul" remains a jazz standard, with hundreds of versions performed and recorded by dozens of artists.

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

In Harlem she started singing in various night clubs. Holiday took her professional pseudonym from Billie Dove, an actress she admired, and the musician Clarence Holiday, her probable father. At the outset of her career, she spelled her last name "Halliday," the birth-surname of her father, but eventually changed it to "Holiday," his performing name. The young singer teamed up with a neighbor, tenor sax player Kenneth Hollan. From 1929 to 1931, they were a team, performing at clubs such as the Grey Dawn, Pod's and Jerry's on 133rd Street, and the Brooklyn Elks' Club. Benny Goodman recalled hearing Holiday in 1931 at The Bright Spot. As her reputation grew, Holiday played at many clubs, including Mexico's and The Alhambra Bar and Grill where Charles Linton, a vocalist who later worked with Chick Webb, first met her. It was also during this period that she connected with her father, who was playing with Fletcher Henderson's band.

By the end of 1932 at the age of 17, Billie Holiday replaced the singer Monette Moore at a club called Covan's on West 132nd Street. The producer John Hammond, who loved Monette Moore's singing and had come to hear her, first heard Holiday in early 1933. Hammond arranged for Holiday to make her recording debut, at age 18, in November 1933 with Benny Goodman, singing two songs: "Your Mother's Son-In-Law" and "Riffin' the Scotch," the latter being her first hit. "Son-in-Law" sold 300 copies, but "Riffin' the Scotch," released on November 11, sold 5,000 copies. Hammond was quite impressed by Holiday's singing style. He said of her, "Her singing almost changed my music tastes and my musical life, because she was the first girl singer I'd come across who actually sang like an improvising jazz genius." Hammond compared Holiday favorably to Armstrong and said she had a good sense of lyric content at her young age.

In 1935, Billie Holiday had a small role as a woman being abused by her lover in Duke Ellington's short Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. In her scene, she sang the song "Saddest Tale."

Billie's accompanied by Ben Webster (Tenor Sax); Barney Kessel (Guitar); Harry "Sweets" Edison (Trumpet); Jimmy Rowles (Piano); Red Mitchell (Bass); and Larry Bunker (Drums). Recorded January 7th, 1957 (20507-1).

Tony Bennett recorded the classic pop standard Body And Soul, with Amy Winehouse at Abbey Road Studios in London March, 2011. The duet proceeds will be donated to her charity "The Amy Winehouse Foundation."

One of the most famous and influential takes was recorded by Coleman Hawkins and His Orchestra on October 11, 1939, at their only recording session for Bluebird, a subsidiary of RCA Victor. The recording is unusual in that the song's melody is only hinted at in the recording; Hawkins' two-choruses of improvisation over the tune's chord progression constitute almost the entire take. Because of this, as well as the imaginative use of harmony and break from traditional swing cliches, the recording is recognised as part of the "early tremors of bebop". In 2004, the Library of Congress entered it into the National Recording Registry

To this day, "Body and Soul" is the most recorded jazz standard.

My days have grown so lonely
For you I cry, for you dear only
Why haven't you seen it
I'm all for you body and soul

I spend my days in longin'
I'm wondering why it's me you're wronging
I tell you I mean it
I'm all for you body and soul

I can't believe it
It's hard to conceive it
That you'd throw away romance
Are you pretending
It looks like the ending
Unless I can have one more chance to prove, dear

My life a hell you're making
You know I'm yours for just the taking
I'd gladly surrender
Myself to you body and soul

What lies before me
A future that's stormy
A winter that's gray and cold
Unless there's magic the end will be tragic
And therefor a tale that's been told so often

My life revolves about you
What earthly good am I without you
Oh I tell you I mean it
I'm all for you body and soul

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