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“AT MONTEREY, 1958.” Billie Holiday. Blackhawk 50701....

“AT MONTEREY, 1958.” Billie Holiday. Blackhawk 50701. This was Monterey’s first festival and Lady Day’s last. Though her voice was shot and her grasp on the notes uncertain, some of the emotional impact survived. All 11 tunes in these 30 minutes of music had been done in numerous earlier and superior studio versions. Waldron’s piano is subpar; Gerry Mulligan is very helpful on several tunes; Buddy De Franco is heard from marginally. Benny Carter’s name should not have been used here, since he is virtually unheard. The plane flying over the fairgrounds during one song is so intrusive you feel like ducking. By the standards of an artist who at her peak 15 years earlier was the consummate jazz singer, this is 3 1/2-star material.


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