ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL compiles three separate LPs originally released in the late 1950s: ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL (Verve 8329), BODY AND SOUL (Verve 8197) and SONGS FOR DISTINGUE LOVERS (Verve 8257). SONGS FOR DISTINGUE LOVERS is available separately on CD on Verve (815 055).
Personnel: Billie Holiday (vocals); Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet); Jimmy Rowles (piano); Barney Kessel (guitar); Joe Mondragon, Red Mitchell (bass); Alvin Stoller, Larry Bunker (drums).
Producer: Norman Granz.
Compilation producer: Michael Lang.
Recorded at Radio Recorders and Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California on August 14 & 18, 1956 and from January 3-9, 1957. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff and new Donald Clarke.
This is Volume 7 of the Verve Take 2 series.
ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL is actually a compilation of three albums worth of material recorded in 1956 and 1957, near the end of Holiday's life. The satisfactions here are numerous. Producer Norman Granz presented one of jazz's definitive vocalists sitting in with a stellar combo of swing-style all stars. Granz assembled a wonderful band for Holiday. Hearing musicians like Ben Webster, Jimmy Rowles, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Barney Kessel constructing sixteen and thirty-two bar statements on some of the finest standards to ever come out of Tin Pan Alley is reason enough to listen.
Holiday is featured by virtue of being the singer, and she includes the introductory verses on several of the tunes. But the band passes around the introductions and obbligatos with the ease and generosity of old familiar colleagues, and everyone makes enthusiastic use of the room they're given, occasionally taking up to a chorus apiece before taking it back to the top. Holiday is one of those artists whose work tends to get divided into "early" and "late" periods. These recordings offer an expansive view of her late work in perhaps the most sympathetic, inspiring and swinging context possible.