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Billie Holiday - Ultimate Collection
Billie Holiday - Ultimate Collection
Actors: Louis Armstrong, Danny Barker, Doc Cheatham, Vic Dickenson, Roy Eldridge
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2005

The Billie Holiday The Ultimate Collection DVD features rare TV and film performances, an especially rare radio interview with Mike Wallace, an audio-only rehearsal session with pianist Jimmy Rowles, audio interviews with ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Louis Armstrong, Danny Barker, Doc Cheatham, Vic Dickenson, Roy Eldridge
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Armstrong, Louis, Ellington, Duke, Holiday, Billie, Jazz
Studio: Verve
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/25/2005
Original Release Date: 10/25/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 10/25/2005
Release Year: 2005
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Collection Made With Love
E. Christie | Marina, CA USA | 06/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What an amazing DVD of collected Billie Holiday snips. Lots of things that someone spent considerable time pulling together, not just video but audio recordings and interviews. This was my first time seeing Billie sing, after having listened to her for the past 25 years on albums and CDs. Wanted to see how she stood, how she held her mouth, all that. I was mesmerized watching her; dazzled and calmed all at the same time, watching her nonchalantly let lyrics float from her mouth, easy as 1,2,3. You have to remember that most clips come from later in her career; they didn't have MTV in the 1930s! Billie's rendition of Fine and Mellow on this DVD is worth the purchase price all by itself. I had dreams about her after watching this collection last night. Fine and mellow dreams."
A treat
Lizard | Florida | 03/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many rare appearances and very insightful biographical data are all enclosed in this nifty presentation of Lady Day. Very moving, and always enduring, to the innermost recesses of one's heart. I really enjoyed it."
Precious but not ultimate
Nikica Gilic | Zagreb, Croatia | 12/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Indeed, the footage of Lady Day is preciously rare, they say, so this DVD might contain basically everything. However, the film with Duke Ellington's orchestra is not complete. They shouldn't have cut it after the part where Billie appears, regardless of the fact that this is definitively not the best Ellington perfomance of the period (to say the least...). Also, the fabulous "Sound of Jazz" performance with Young, Hawkins, Eldridge, Mulligan, Webster and Dickenson is seen and heard in much better shape on the "Sound of Jazz" DVD (the one with Henry Red Allen, Count Basie, Miles Davis and others)...

On the other hand, it's a great thrill to see and hear Billie in other rare TV occasions (even as her self-destructive life obviously took its toll, she is still impressive even in her last TV appearance...)... The very useful "timeline" feature mentions, among other things, an appearance on British television; it would be very nice if that footage would surface at some point....

The interviews audios (with Billie, John Hammond...) and the rehearsal with Jimmy Rowles on piano are also very useful and interesting...

BTW; the Bessie Smith flick is a welcome addition (as is the Armstrong big band number), but they should have presented the entire film...
Also; although the interactive part is useful and amusing and the interviews at times amazing, the selection of songs for the audio part should have been a bit more "ultimate"...

Also, there are some mistakes in the liner notes: James P. Johnson is the musical director, not the director of "St. Louis Blues" short film while, although Jo Jones is listed as the drummer on "Fine and Mellow" video-number, the announcer in the beginning of the clip mentions Ossie Johnson at the drums (still, in this case the announcer might be wrong...).

All in all, this is a must have for a Lady Day fan, but the editors and producers should have done better..."
If You Love Billie Holiday....
Randy Remote | Laytonville, CA | 08/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

" will want this. If this is indeed complete, then there is not much footage of Billie Holiday actually performing live. What does exist is wonderful, the "Stars on Jazz" is priceless. Some of the clips are soundies, that is, the musicians are fake-playing to a prerecorded track. They were the true precursors of MTV-type video clips, and show Billie at the early stages of her career. Two of the tracks are from the movie "New Orleans" (and also lip-synced). And for some reason, there are two clips by Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong that do not contain Billie. Think of them as bonus tracks. There is are also 5 audio-only live performances, and a Mike Wallace radio interview with Billie, a great discography and photo slide show. The kicker is an audio-only rehearsal with pianist and drummer, working out the arrangement for "Jeepers Creepers", with Billie's salty language as she jives with the players. The dvd also comes with a classy and informative booklet which covers all the details. They did a nice job on this release."