Thoughts on great love songs for Valentine’s Day, love’s holiday

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I do know that the treatment, Minneapolis-born vocalist José James gave the song, “Tenderly” when he performed on this birthday, January 20, at the Dakota was stellar. It was perfect for his vocal range and revealed a level of maturity beyond his 37 years. That song, among others by the great Billie Holiday, or made popular by her, appear on his new Blue Note Records album, Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday, which drops in March. On Valentine’s Day, James will be in Japan, where the album has already been released and is making waves.

Holiday, also known as “Lady Day,” would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. Her music has made a great impact on a wide spectrum of artists, and continues to resonate with people from all walks of life. Vocalist Cassandra Wilson is celebrating the music made by Holiday by releasing, Coming Forth by Day: A Tribute to Billie Holiday from Legacy Records in April. Look out for her upcoming performances in support of the album, at the Dakota, too. Holiday’s artistry speaks volumes about love, loss, and overall human condition. Thank you, Lady Day.