It’s hard to go wrong with an album that is the soundtrack to an amazing documentary. Today, BILLIE, the James Erskine-directed film on the life of esteemed jazz figure Billie Holiday, is available in select cinemas and on-demand in U.K. markets. Though the doc’s companion soundtrack is accessible on all digital and streaming platforms.
At the heart of this 13-track LP are Holiday’s most popularized standards, including “Now or Never” and “I Loves You, Porgy.” A live rendition of “Don’t Explain,” extracted from a setlist at Carnegie Hall, appears on the album. In addition to the expected tunes, two instrumental pieces, which are featured in the film, makes the tracklist of gems and rarities.
The movie, which is described as “raw, emotional and brutally honest,” is packaged as an oral history that incorporates 200 hours of once-shelved conversations by late 1960s journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, along with those close to the singer, in an attempt to write the biography of Holiday. The book was never published because of the death of Kuehl.
On November 15, two days after the U.K. premiere, Erskine will host a live Q&A to promote BILLIE at the EFG London Jazz Festival. The next day, the hour-long documentary will debut on Amazon and Apple.
Listen to BILLIE: The Official Soundtrack below.