Billie Holiday

“White Gardenia” by Johnny Griffin

billie-at-100Riverside 1961Tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin pays tribute to Billie Holiday, who had died exactly two years earlier, on this ballad-oriented set, which has been reissued on CD. Griffin is joined by a brass section (either five or seven pieces), plus a rhythm section and strings (the latter dominated by cellos), for his warm interpretations of nine songs associated with Billie Holiday, plus his original “White Gardenia.” The memorable arrangements, provided by Melba Liston and Norman Simmons, are tasteful, and the lyrical music is well-performed. – adapted from Scott Yanow (AllMusic)

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Johnny Griffin — tenor saxophone
Nat Adderley – cornet
Clark Terry – flugelhorn, trumpet
Ernie Royal – trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland, Paul Faulise, Urbie Green – trombone
Ray Alonge – French horn
Barry Harris, Jimmy Jones – piano
Barry Galbraith – guitar
Ron Carter – bass
Ben Riley – drums
Alfred Brown, Harry Lookofsky, David Schwartz – violin
Maurice Bialkin, Abe Kessler, Peter Makas, Charles McCracken, Lucient Schmit, Ray Schweitzer, Edgardo Sodero – cello
Melba Liston, Norman Simmons – arranger
Originally released on Riverside Records ©1961
Label: Concord Music Group