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ESP-Disk to Release Five-CD Box of Rare Billie Holiday Recordings

After putting out several reissues and previously unreleased sessions that any self-respecting avant-garde fan would be wise to snatch up-among them Sonny Murray’s Sonny Murray, Don Cherry’s Live at the Café Montmartre, Norman Howard’s Burn Baby Burn, a Bud Powell live set from 1961, and a much-needed second-coming of Albert Ayler’s The Hilversum Session-ESP-Disk will drop a five-CD box set of Billie Holiday recordings tomorrow. The set is entitled Rare Live Performances, 1935-1959, and includes a broadcast of the historic 1940s Esquire All-Stars concert. On the first disc, Holiday is featured at age 20 singing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and with Count Basie at the Savoy Hotel two years later. The remaining four discs feature performance recording from 1949 until the singer’s death in 1959. Also of interest is a private recording of Holiday singing “My Yiddishe Mama.”

Also due out from ESP for the holiday 2007 season is Lester Young’s Live at Birdland, culled from ’50s broadcasts from that storied club, and a remastered edition of Bloom in the Commune, by seminal free-improv pianist Burton Greene.

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