Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ballad of the Blues
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: STAFFORD,JO Title: BALLAD OF THE BLUES Street Release Date: 09/09/2003
No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: BALLAD OF THE BLUES
Street Release Date: 09/09/2003
trombonology | Brighton, MI United States | 10/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't believe that it would be possible to over-state the quality of this music. I had hoped, for some time, to see the release of this 1959 album in this format; now that I've had an opportunity to enjoy this collection of thematically unified tunes in its entirety, I can say without hesitation that it's the finest concept album I've ever heard. The Blues, as an American art form, is explored - from its origins to the directions it took with the growth of our country ("times change and things change") - by the singer who has, in my opinion, done more than any other, through her artistry and versatility, to make us aware of this land's musical riches. Jo Stafford, with her inimitable tone and always musicianly approach to singing, proves herself capable of belting (and crooning) The Blues with the same conviction that characterizes her work in other musical styles such as Broadway, Jazz, Folk, and mid-century Pop. The fact that, as the liner notes state, this album is neither a history of The Blues nor a collection of Blues songs in the strictest sense of the form, I feel, makes it more satisfying than if it had been either or both. I regard these tracks, collectively, as an examination of the situations and experiences that inspire this very personal art form. The brilliant arranger/composer Paul Weston (Jo's late husband) and lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman wrote original music that serves as a kind of narrative and allows each Blues theme to move seamlessly into the next, from the work song, through the spiritual, to the more contemporary material dealing with the timeless topics of infidelity and longing. The musical accompaniment is varied and appropriate to each piece, The Starlighters provide excellent vocal support, and Jo Stafford, The World's Greatest Singer, is at her most affecting. Listen to "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child", "Kansas City Blues", "He's Gone Away", "Every Night When The Sun Goes In", "Lover Man" and "Blues In The Night" - you'll see what I mean. If you have the LP, you already know what I mean, but get the CD anyway!"
Joan Crawford | Lansing, MI USA | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Close your eyes and you can feel the haunting beauty of this music.. This is old, old music from the slaves to the roaring twenties and then the depression. It's all the blues from long ago. Jo Stafford and Paul Weston have undoubtedly created the definitive versions of these songs... Everything here is timeless. A true concept album masterpiece, from the lush orchestrations to the sensitive and dreamy vocals by Jo. Best songs, if I was forced to choose, are also the most unusual for a pop singer. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've seen is moving and sad.. You can almost imagine the slaves picking cotton in the fields, sadly. Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child is perfect and wistful. He's Gone Away makes one think of the civil war and all the lovers forced to part forever. Memphis Blues simply swings! And Blues in the Night sizzles almost as much as Julie London's version...only Jo Stafford provides the always superior vocal. If you like this haunting style of beautiful, orchestrated blues, I also recommend Julie London's "About the Blues", although Jo Stafford's is of course superior in every way. She is, of course, the greatest singer of the 20th century. I'm 19 and all of my friends that I've played this for agree - Jo is the best. My only wish is that her "Songs of Scotland" album would be released on CD soon or that I could meet Jo Stafford. We even almost have the same birthday...she's Nov. 12 and I'm Nov. 11. I just thought that was interesting. :)"
Not Stereo: A Disappointment
Mark D. Prouse | Riverdale (Bronx), NY | 06/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The liner notes to this CD seem to promise "early stereo recording techniques." Naturally, since I love Jo Stafford (in all of her manifestations), I was intrigued. Now I read that this lovely and yet mono remastering of this music for CD might have been a mistake, or, the compilers and producers just liked the mono better. Then it occurred to me that several of the young Dusty Springfield's albums had been mastered in true stereo, yet never released that way, only in mono and "simulated" stereo.
The topper comes with the reviewer who remembers his LP as being in glorious, true stereo. He did not mention that, hey, the INTERVIEW section is in stereo! Oh, well...
My disappointment faded quickly, though, within three bars of the first song. I was hooked. Some of these oldies are far from moldy, and the ones gathering the first tell-tale fuzz, such as "John Henry" and "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" are steered completely away from being presented as museum quality relics. "Street Cries" could have come out of OLIVER! or PORGY & BESS, and the "echo chamber" is used to haunting effect. Where Jo really shines, though, is on the ballads and swingin' jazz numbers. Her "Kansas City" strikes just the right emotional note, as does her rendition of W. C. Handy's "Memphis Blues," both of which are magnificent (due in no small part to the cookin' band, featuring The Starlighters vocal group and her now-late husband, Paul Weston, and his orchestra). My highest praise goes to Jo's superb rendition of "Blues In The Night." This rivals a version I also like by Peggy Lee, and it's the high point of BALLAD OF THE BLUES.
The bonus tracks make up a 32 1/2 minute long interview with Jo Stafford by Michael Feinstein, and this "conversation" is a real treat. They even talk about Jonathan & Darlene, and there's a brief reference to Jo's other alter ego, Cinderella G. Stump, although neither Jo or Michael mentions her by name.
I highly recommend this CD to anyone who loves the standards, traditional blues and folk, and of course Jo Stafford herself. This album is among her finest moments (when not possessed by the spirit of Mrs. Jonathan Edwards)."