From the Heart
Legacy Recordings released digitally remastered versions of fifteen Billie Holiday songs for Valentine’s Day, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate. From the Heart is a collection of some of Holiday’s loveliest work: classics such as Ray Noble’s “The Very Thought of You,” Marks’ and Simon’s “All Of Me,” Cole Porter’s “Night and Day,” and my personal favorite, J. Fred Coots’ “You Go To My Head.” The album is a part of Legacy’s From the Heart series, which includes nine artists.
For those poor souls who have never experienced incomparable jazz and blues singer Billie Holiday, the emotion and humanity of her voice, and the pure élan of her delivery are her trademarks. Both of those are in full effect here. Sadly, many of her recordings are marred by a scratchy sound due to their age and poor quality, but Legacy has done a marvelous job restoring the songs on From the Heart. The voice of “Lady Day” shines through beautifully, with the lush backup of piano, horns, drums, and guitar.
From the Heart is no “Best Of"; for a broader swath of Billie’s work with edgier songs like “Strange Fruit” or “Long Gone Blues,” look elsewhere. However, if you are in need of some pleasurably romantic music for slow dancing and romantic evenings, From the Heart will work just fine. For Valentine’s Day, or any other day, sit down with your sweetheart, break out the bubbly, and enjoy.