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Billie Holiday Centennial Collection 
Billie Holiday: The Centennial Collection (Columbia/Legacy, 2015) [recorded between 1935 and 1944]

“Strange Fruit,” heard here in its definitive 1939 version, is one of the most important songs of the 20th century on multiple levels; it is, was, and always will be emotionally devastating. Sometimes you need a break from the heavy stuff, though, and Holiday delivers that and more on The Centennial Collection’s earlier sides. Her rambunctious tugging against Teddy Wilson’s hard-driving piano rhythm on “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” as well as her peerless byplay with saxophone soulmate Lester Young on several cuts, is the stuff of magic. MAC RANDALL

Learn more about The Centennial Collection on Amazon, Guitar Center, and Walmart