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The Essential Bessie Smith

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Cub Koda
Although there are a multitude of box sets chronicling Bessie's entire recorded career, this two-disc, 36-song set sweats it down to the bare essentials in quite an effective manner. Bessie could sing it all, from the lowdown moan of "St. Louis Blues" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" to her torch treatment of the jazz standard "After You've Gone" to the downright salaciousness of "Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl." Covering a time span from her first recordings in 1923 to her final session in 1933, this is the perfect entry-level set to go with. Utilizing the latest in remastering technology, these recordings have never sounded quite this clear and full, and the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Cub Koda
Although there are a multitude of box sets chronicling Bessie's entire recorded career, this two-disc, 36-song set sweats it down to the bare essentials in quite an effective manner. Bessie could sing it all, from the lowdown moan of "St. Louis Blues" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" to her torch treatment of the jazz standard "After You've Gone" to the downright salaciousness of "Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl." Covering a time span from her first recordings in 1923 to her final session in 1933, this is the perfect entry-level set to go with. Utilizing the latest in remastering technology, these recordings have never sounded quite this clear and full, and the selection -- collecting her best-known sides and collaborations with jazz giants like Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, and Benny Goodman -- is first-rate. If you've never experienced the genius of Bessie Smith, pick this one up and prepare yourself to be devastated.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/23/1997
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646492222
  • Catalog Number: 64922
  • Sales rank: 2,208

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bessie Smith Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Vocals
Steve Stevens Piano, Accompaniment
Buster Bailey Clarinet, Accompaniment
Chu Berry Tenor Saxophone
Benny Goodman Clarinet
James P. Johnson Piano, Accompaniment
Eddie Lang Guitar
Jack Teagarden Trombone
Frankie Newton Trumpet
Coleman Hawkins Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Ladnier Cornet, Accompaniment
Ed Allen Cornet, Accompaniment
Louis Armstrong Cornet, Accompaniment
The Bessemer Singers Vocals
Garvin Bushell Alto Saxophone, Accompaniment
Buddy Christian Banjo
June Cole Tuba
Charlie Dixon Banjo
Fletcher Henderson Piano, Accompaniment
Porter Grainger Piano, Accompaniment
Jimmy Harrison Trombone
Jimmy Jones Piano, Accompaniment
Fred Longshaw Piano, Reed Organ, Accompaniment
Joe "Fox" Smith Cornet
Cyrus St. Clair Tuba, Accompaniment
Greely Walton Tenor Saxophone, Accompaniment
Buck Washington Piano, Leader
Clarence Williams Piano, Accompaniment
Ernest Elliott Clarinet
Charlie Green Trombone, Accompaniment
Floyd Casey Drums, Accompaniment
Bob Escudero Tuba
The Blue Boys Accompaniment
Billy Taylor Sr. String Bass
Irving Johns Piano, Accompaniment
Bobby Johnson Guitar
Robert Robbins Violin, Accompaniment
Lincoln M. Conaway Guitar
June Cole Orchestra Tuba, Accompaniment
Joe Smith Cornet, Accompaniment
Louisa Metcalfe Cornet, Accompaniment
Technical Credits
Bessie Smith Composer
Percy Grainger Composer
W.C. Handy Composer
Andy Razaf Composer
Ma Rainey Composer
Chris Albertson Liner Notes
Lovie Austin Composer
George Brooks Composer
Tim Brymn Composer
James Cox Composer
Martha E. Koenig Composer
Huddie Ledbetter Composer
Fred Longshaw Composer
Mezz Mezzrow Composer
Clarence Williams Composer
Spencer Williams Composer
Lawrence Cohn Producer
Wesley Wilson Composer
David Mitson Mastering
Lisa Hamilton Art Direction
Joe Hayden Composer
J. Russel Robinson Composer
Coot Grant Composer
James L. Hunter Graphic Design
Robert Prince Composer
Edna B. Pinkard Composer
Jennifer Ebert Packaging Manager
John Henry Composer
Theodore Metz Composer
Jimmie Cox Composer
H. Burke Composer
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