– what’s the difference anyway?

I love Billie. I was looking up Miss Brown to You and came across this one. A favourite. It doesn’t mean I agree with her sentiments, and her life was sad, but the way she identifies and interprets and portrays the sentiment … superb.

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3 Comments on “– what’s the difference anyway?”

  1. Somebody Somewhere Says:

    I can remember when it was first pointed out to me that Billie only had a one octave singing range. What! No. That’s not possible surely. Even I can sing across two for goodness sake. Then I listened again and, well … good lord. I not enough of a musician to assess her true range, but she’s certainly managing to do a whole lot with a very few notes.

    • theheartbeatsoftly Says:

      I saw a doco on jazz and I think either Winton or Branford Marsalis were talking about Billie, and how she used her voice like an instrument as opposed to a pure singing vehicle, I guess – for example, Ella sounds clear, Billie seems to mute things out a lot more. She might not have a great range, and she sounds croaky, but it’s all part of the appeal. Whichever Marsalis it was had so wished he could have played with her. Mariah Carey’s got her voice which covers 8 octaves, and she’s as boring as batshit. I don’t think it has much to do with how much you can vary the note in that way. Thanks for the comment ♥

  2. Somebody Somewhere Says:

    Have you read the Kim Stanley Robinson Mars Trilogy? There’s a Russian character in that who loves jazz, Nadia, and there’s some interesting passages during which she’s reflecting on or expounding upon the differences between different Jazz artists and what she likes about them. At one point, to indicated how joyful she’s feeling she says, “I feel just like Louis Armstrong in 1946!” [NB I could have the year completely wrong]. It’s even more nuanced than joyful, drawing neat lines of comparison between her position on mars Louis’ back then. Anway, she talks about Ella and how even her sad songs sound happy whereas with Billie …


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