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Blues Queen

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Bessie Smith's passionate vocals overrode the primitive recording technology of her era and made her the zenith of female blues singers from the 1920s and '30s. This collection takes a quick survey of her career over two-dozen tracks recorded between 1923 and 1933 in New York in sessions with such jazz icons as Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Pee Wee Russell, and Fletcher Henderson, including her seminal 1925 version of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." An exercise in simplicity, Smith's version of the song features only her voice, Armstrong's answering cornet, and Fred Longshaw on a wheezing reed organ. The end result is one of the greatest performances in pop history. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Bessie Smith's passionate vocals overrode the primitive recording technology of her era and made her the zenith of female blues singers from the 1920s and '30s. This collection takes a quick survey of her career over two-dozen tracks recorded between 1923 and 1933 in New York in sessions with such jazz icons as Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Pee Wee Russell, and Fletcher Henderson, including her seminal 1925 version of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." An exercise in simplicity, Smith's version of the song features only her voice, Armstrong's answering cornet, and Fred Longshaw on a wheezing reed organ. The end result is one of the greatest performances in pop history. Also featured here is Smith's breakthrough side "Downhearted Blues," plus wonderful takes on "Careless Love Blues" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," all of which show what this one of a kind and larger than life singer could do with a song.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/15/2011
  • Label: Phoenix Spain
  • EAN: 8436539310617
  • Catalog Number: 3931061
  • Sales rank: 390,688

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bessie Smith Primary Artist, Vocals
Buster Bailey Clarinet
Chu Berry Tenor Saxophone
Benny Goodman Clarinet
Jack Teagarden Trombone
Frankie Newton Trumpet
Coleman Hawkins Tenor Saxophone
Ed Allen Cornet
Louis Armstrong Cornet
George Baquet Clarinet
Garvin Bushell Alto Saxophone
Charlie Dixon Banjo
Fletcher Henderson Piano
Porter Grainger Piano
Jimmy Harrison Trombone
Jimmy Jones Piano
Fred Longshaw Piano
Cyrus St. Clair Tuba
Greely Walton Tenor Saxophone
Buck Washington Piano
Clarence Williams Piano
Charlie Green Trombone
Bob Escudero Tuba
Billy Taylor Sr. Bass
Bobby Johnson Guitar
Lincoln M. Conaway Guitar
Joe Smith Cornet
Steve Stevens Piano
Technical Credits
Alberta Hunter Composer
Bessie Smith Composer
Ida Cox Composer
Perry Bradford Composer
W.C. Handy Composer
Lovie Austin Composer
J.C. Johnson Composer
Fred Longshaw Composer
Roy Turk Composer
Clarence Williams Composer
Wesley Wilson Composer
Gus Horsley Composer
Lou Handman Composer
Leo Wood Composer
Henry Troy Composer
Hazel Cole Composer
Jack Gee Composer
Chris Smith Composer
Stuart Balcom Composer
Charles Boldt Liner Notes
Jordi Diaz Collaboration
Paul Carter Composer
Philip Hays Cover Illustration
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