Billie Holiday – Lady In Satin (1958)

Lady in Satin is an album by jazz singer Billie Holiday released in 1958 on Columbia Records, catalogue CL 1157 in mono and CS 8048 in stereo. It is the penultimate album completed by the singer and last released in her lifetime (her final album, Last Recording, being recorded in March 1959 and released just after her death). The original album was produced by Irving Townsend, and engineered by Fred Plaut. When Holiday signed her contract for Columbia, the label looked at it as a new beginning, for this was her return to the label after sixteen years. During Holiday’s time with Norman Granz’s label, she revisited old material she had previously recorded and songs that were well known in her repertoire, such as “My Man”, “Lover, Come Back to Me”, “I Cover the Waterfront”, “Them There Eyes”, “I Only Have Eyes for You” and others. Columbia wanted Holiday to do an album of songs she had never recorded before,[5] so the song material for Lady in Satin derived from the usual sources for Holiday in her three-decade career, that of the Great American Songbook of classic pop. Also, unlike the bulk of Holiday’s recordings with Norman Granz and her early years at Columbia in the 1930s and early 1940s, rather than in the setting of a jazz combo Holiday returns to the backdrop of full orchestral arrangements as done during her Decca years eight years earlier.

Track Listing:

LP Side One

“I’m a Fool to Want You” (Frank Sinatra, Joel Herron, Jack Wolf) – 3:23
“For Heaven’s Sake” (Elise Bretton, Sherman Edwards, Donald Meyer) – 3:26
“You Don’t Know What Love Is” (Gene DePaul, Don Raye) – 3:48
“I Get Along Without You Very Well” (Hoagy Carmichael) – 2:59
“For All We Know” (J. Fred Coots, Sam M. Lewis) – 2:53
“Violets for Your Furs” (Tom Adair, Matt Dennis) – 3:24
LP Side Two

“You’ve Changed” (Bill Carey, Carl T. Fischer) – 3:17
“It’s Easy to Remember” (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) – 4:01
“But Beautiful” (w. Johnny Burke, m. Jimmy Van Heusen) – 4:29
“Glad to Be Unhappy” (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)– 4:07
“I’ll Be Around” (Alec Wilder) – 3:23
“The End of a Love Affair” (Edward Redding) – 4:46 [mono only]

Notes: This album is HEAVILY influenced by Sinatra’s “In The Wee Hours”. They both sound a lot a like. This was recorded only a about a year before Holiday died. By the this time she had lost most of the range of her voice that she had in the 40s. It sort of needed the orchestral aspect of it to prop her voice up

Schill Score: 3/10

Listen to album on Spotify