Billie Holiday – Tribute to the Iconic Lady Day Ali Affleck at The Jazz Bar from Ali Affleck and the Gin Mill Genies featured a very brief overview of the life of the iconic Billie Holiday (where do you even start with only one hour?) that gave us not only a taste of her music, but some insights into her troubled lifetime.
If anyone was ever born under a dark cloud or dark star, then it was Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday. By the time we start this story with a 15 year old singer auditioning for work, Billie Holiday had already seen more of the dark side of life than most people would experience in several lifetimes (even then, only if they were unlucky). Billie Holiday was not only a lady whom misfortune seemed to find, but one who was born at a time when recognition and help for many of her personal issues simply was not available. Ali Affleck, however, is clear in not wanting to paint “Lady Day” as a “victim”, but someone full of the joy of life and compassion for others (maybe a little too full of both at times).
Billie Holiday sang many people’s songs in her lifetime, and some of these are in this set, but it is her self-penned songs that for me have the real power as these are not just songs, but Billie Holiday’s life and experiences, and they are like windows into the soul of this iconic singer. Through a combination of a little bit of history behind some of these iconic songs and an outstanding performance of vocal phrasing and timing, Ali Affleck breathes a life into them that few people can do. Through Ali Affleck’s own powerful on-stage presence here and some solid performances from the Gin Mill Genies, iconic songs like “God Bless The Child” and “Don’t Explain” were brought back into life on stage for all too short a time at the crowded Jazz Bar.
Review by Tom King
Billie Holiday – Tribute to the Iconic Lady Day Ali Affleck
The Jazz Bar - Partially Seated
Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
Group: Ali Affleck and the Gin Mill Genies