Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bessie Smith 1923
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Listen to Samples
Bessie's First Tracks...
Sébastien Melmoth | Hôtel d'Alsace, PARIS | 05/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Bessie Smith was a powerful vocalist with a big clear alto timbre and excellent English diction.
She had a great sense of humour, invoking both urban and rural observations.
In her song-art she expresses facets of her strong personality: a justified indignation over the Jim Crow abuse of Negros in the United States; a certain fatalism concerning her own life under such conditions; and a raw sexual vitality.
This 1994 issue from the great Chronological Classics series from France features Smith's first recorded tracks. (She had only about a decade of record productivity: 1923-33.)
On the first eight sides Bessie is accompanied by the great Clarence Williams whose measured pianism is extremely attractive, making "Down-Hearted Blues" and other songs sound more like a duo for alto and piano, rather than mere background for a vocalist.
"Aggravatin' Papa" includes a skilled banjoist and a goosey clarinettest which, combined with the humorous lyrics, make for a very fun-filled song.
"Baby Won't You Please Come Home Blues" (with the flip-side of "Oh, Daddy Blues") are some of Smith and Williams' most catchy tunes--not to mention the famous "'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do" (later redone by Billie Holiday).
"'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do" in fact sums up Bessie Smith's ethos and life most succinctly: rough, sad, but independent and defiant.
Reissued on: 1923.
1924-1925 (reissued) 1924-1925
1925-1927 (reissued) 1925-1927
1928-1929 (reissued) 1928-1929
1929-1933 (reissued) 1929-1933