BILLIE HOLIDAY / “God Bless The Child”

MP3 01 God Bless the Child (Holiday).mp3 (3.72 MB)

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5 Responses to “BILLIE HOLIDAY / “God Bless The Child””

sue ross Says:
January 22nd, 2006 at 10:46 am

The downloaded link to Billie Holiday’s "God Bless the Child" works; however on this week’s jukebox, I hear the Carmen version of change when I click on Billie’s "God Bless the Child"

      Mtume says:     

I just tried it Sue; seems to be OK. I clicked on Track 01 and it’s Billie. Dunno what’s up.


Qawi Says:
January 23rd, 2006 at 10:49 am

I must say that the discussion (if you want to call it that) is entertaining to say the least. Billie is Billie…PERIOD! We know her history, we know her legacy. And for the time, her vocal stylings were alternative. Many a critique of her was that she sang BEHIND THE BEAT, in other words she was off a bit in synchopation. Dolphy’s rendition is interesting, as in I hardly recognized it as God Bless the Child. And yes, this is Alternative and his riffs, embellishments, etc. are BOTHERING THE MELODY! I’m sure he is talented, but I couldn’t listen to the full song as it took on Ornette Coleman proportions. In my critique, I can still appreciate him playing though.

As for Tricky, it does bear some resemblence to Billie’s version in that it has a dark undercurrent and singing out of sadness. I’m not sure how to classify this version as Alternative Hip-Hop/Spoken Word or something else.

In either case, both Dolphy’s and Tricky’s versions are weird! (I know that isn’t an objective evaluation, but I have nothing else to describe it.) All in all, thanks for the point-and-counterpoint of this piece and my exposure to folks I wouldn’t listen to if I tried! LOL!

AumRa Says:
January 24th, 2006 at 5:09 pm

Once while considering the relationship with his wife, Richard Pryor had a revelation. The comedian thought, “I’m in love with a bitch i can’t stand.” That statement can also apply to most Black people’s relationship with American society. Black people, like many others in the world, are hooked on American culture. The difference between addicted Black Americans and the other junkies of the world is that domestic Black people work hard to help make the American society prosperous yet are systematically and disproportionately denied the means to share the wealth reaped from their own labor. I think thst one aspect of being in hell is living in a country where one can see wealth, observe others enjoy prosperity but you, as Black people, have no real access to it. This is especially true when you realize that others are propering at your expense. This is a sick and toxic relationship where Black people are challenged with the uneviable task of trying to reckon with a mindset that enforces public denial of the (bastard) child’s fair and rightful inheritance while that same ruling mentality continues to molest the parent with impunity when shielded behind the opaque doors of Jim Crow acts. I imagine one of the main reasons that the song, God Bless the Child resonates so strongly with Black people is because most of us can identify with having played a major role in the amassing of great wealth yet not having the opportunity to share that wealth.

When I first heard Billie Holiday – I mean really felt her- I marveled at how she was able to infuse so much spirit inside her voice. Joy and pain became chained in one passionate utterance. Billie’s projection of emotion is as pungent and subtly volatile as her gardenia. I hear Billie because I relate to the place inside of her from where the sound originates. And even though I would rarely do so outwardly, Lady allowed me to cry inside my heart of hearts. Because sometimes you gotta cry – even if it is vicariously through a blues song. Billie’s sound echoes an innate, profound love that exemplifies an astute application of interpretating the blues through personal experience. The matter-of-fact way in which she enunciates flirts with the melody and reaffirms her confidence in the ability to effectively communicate. The technique of breath control makes each phrase a song in and of itself, the perfect caressing of the pitch of evert world and syllable and then letting the tone drop at the end is the personal craft of song-styling and clearly conveys the melancoly associated with the need to detach yourself from that which you truly love. Billie Holiday is an artist who makes you feel exactly what she wants you to feel. Through the sound of her voice she allows me to experience my own humaity and strength in a personal way. Even in pastel reflection of the twilight of a short but exceptional career, Billie’s tone continued to smolder with the burnt orange intensity that radiated from a core of sincerity.

Sometimes the only truth I get is from music. It is intuitive, emotional and raw. I find truth in the essence and intent behind the sincere conviction of a clear and compelling voice unleashing my spirit while capturing my imagination. Eric Dolphy and Billie Holiday, through their artistry, personify an organic relationship that speaks to the highest aspect of our collective humanity. It is important that Black people sing and make music with acoustic instruments. This music is the human element touching the profound, the unexplainable, the unfathomable within us. Live jazz and improvisation is human drama, divine comedy, the state of the art delivered in the moment. Sometimes intellectual and sometimes complex great jazz will never talk down to you as it truthfully communicates the vastness of human experience. This music bares it’s soul in ways that shames the devil.

ekere Says:
January 25th, 2006 at 9:52 am

Greetings! This dialogue had me guffawin’, Baba Kalamu, you got jokes!!!!

The Tricky joint kinda scared me in the beginning, (what was that you said about “Om,” Mtume. 🙂 ) but it became more palateable as it went on.

I like hearing these songs side by side, we take a from the center to the edge.

one love,

Aubray Says:
March 29th, 2006 at 10:18 am


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