Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Too Much Beauty
The voice lays all it all out there for you, the drugging, the hard living, the cloaked same-sex love affairs, the toll it's all taken... I won't even draw a line underscoring the glaring similarities to you-know-who, especially since their gifts and how they use(d) them are so very different. But I am in awe, all over again, at the way Holiday's weathered voice has assumed a world-weary, lived in gorgeousness, the way deficits become weapons in the dig for and communication of emotional truths. But none of that is what really gets me about this clip. It's her relationship to the music and her fellow musicians that pulls me, the way she is not simply listening (though that is noteworthy) but how, in the listening, she is diving into and allowing herself to be moved & carried by the horn lines, how she sparks off them. Her head nods in recognition, her lips slow-spread a grin of appreciation, her eyes all but roll back in bliss; she's high as fuck off the sounds her boys are making. It's a true artistic collaboration, and we see it feed her. This is magic.