Monday, December 26, 2011

Of Days And Days

There have been numerous tribute records done for Billie Holiday that when a new one comes along, it would have to be very good for it to get my attention. Kira's  "Memories Of Days Gone By" is very very good and I highly recommend it. Maybe one should look at this without the baggage of it being compared to Billie Holiday - many have tried to emulate her, none have succeeded. First of all, who is Kira? Kira is Kira Sklov, a Danish rock singer who has "turned" to jazz singing. And that is all I know of and about her. She seems to get the tortured part of Lady Day. Though her voice is robust, there is a quiver in it that evokes pain and suffering, and thus gives shading to songs like "Good Morning Heartache," "My Man," and all other dependent songs and their ilk. But she gives a beat to "I'll Be Seeing You," and there is a melancholic juxtaposition to it that works. Her "Gloomy Sunday" is just a little short in the depth department for it to really work, and "Am I Mad" sung like a mad woman is just contrived. But she employs intelligence in her phrasing which makes this an interesting record. I think I might like her better in a pop setting, without my prejudiced trappings for the standards. 

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